#26 on the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar
Moms by Menomena
In a band whose members all share equal songwriting duties, each creating songs that sound drastically different from one another but manage to still sound like the sound of a single band, there’s bound to be some conflict. Menomena is one of those bands. The internal fighting among the trio broke up the band early last year, after a decade of performing together. But rather than dissolve the band entirely with Brent Knopf’s departure, the remaining duo, Justin Harris and Danny Seim, elected to carry on.
This is a good thing. As the band was essentially three solo artists all performing under one name. So what we’re left with now are two bands (Menomena, and Knopf’s solo project, Ramona Falls, whose new album, Prophet, is also quite good) performing what will always sound to me as “Menomena music.”
And this new album, Moms, is definitely 100% Menomena. The bass sax, layers of sound, unique harmonies — it’s all there. If anything, the sound that Knopf takes with him away from Menomena is the lack of sound. The band has lost the ability to be quiet.
This is not a bad thing. I like quiet music when I’m in the mood for it. And Ramona Falls are chock full of quiet moments. But this new Menomena album is hard hitting from the first note. If you’ve not yet experienced Menomena, I will suggest you start at the beginning, with their first album I am the Fun Blame Monster. Then work your way forward. The history of the band is important, sonically. But if you’re already a fan, pick up this new one. It slots right in where they left off, 33% lighter, but every bit as exciting.
27. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
28. Shields by Grizzly Bear
29. Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun by The Wooden Sky
30. Fragrant World by Yeasayer
31. Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells