Archive for the ‘menomena’ Category

Menomena — Friend and Foe (2007)

March 14, 2007
So this is how a logical syllogism works: there’s a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion that follows if both premises are true. Something like this: bands who whistle in their songs are always good. Menomena whistles in their songs. Menomena is good. It’s a true story–the syllogism proves it, and syllogisms don’t lie.

This album has a bizarre feel; xylophones and saxophones and all sorts of other instruments mix with affected vocals differently from song to song, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. It’s music that’s easy to get lost in, and difficult to find your way out of once you start. This world that’s so difficult to get out of, though, has a dark undertone, and a grotesque underbelly – and, as the lyrics portray, the grotesqueness is our own, the product of our modern society. It’s a society that creates people who wish “O, to be a machine / O, to be wanted / to be useful” (“Evil Bee”); a society that creates people who twist speech into a tool of destruction: “I’ve got a stranglehold on this decision / All those opposed can rot in hell / Any day now the words will form a sentence / You’ll be reduced to nothingness” (“Rotten Hell”). It’s an intriguing album, if unsettling or jarring at times, and rewards repeated listening.

–ap

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