Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Menomena-Friend And Foe

Just as I stated that Sebadoh is a perfect example of 90’s Indie Rock, I would have to say that Menomena is a perfect example of 00’s Indie Rock except that Sebadoh were one of the leaders of their decade and Menomena are one of the followers of theirs. Friend And Foe is Menomena’s second full-length (if you ignore some soundtrack work they did, which I am) and they play a nice up beat poppy Indie Rock style. The fact that I find them so representative of current Indie Rock is preventing me from really having anything to say about them. This is a nice band playing nice tunes but I don’t feel they really do anything to make themselves stick out from the crowd.

It doesn’t really help that there are no lyrics or any information about the album at all included with the inserts apart from the song titles. I have no idea how many people are in this band, what instruments they used to make this record (beyond the obvious) or where or when it was recorded. It gives them a very anonymous vibe which I feel plays into their “everyman” Indie Rock sound. I’m assuming the reason all this information was left off the record was due to the album art which was drawn by underground comic artist Craig Thompson. There are little bits of the front and back inserts that are cut out and when you place the cd in different positions in the tray, different pictures appear through the front cover along with each track name. It’s very cute and nice to see a band put as much creativity into their record packaging as the actual album.

I feel like I’m not giving this record a fair shake. I really do enjoy listening to it. It’s a solid record. I just can’t shake that “This is Indie Rock as it sounded in the first decade of the Twenty-First Century” vibe. Maybe I’m just looking for an angle to justify this review. I’m not sure. I write these reviews pretty spontaneously as I listen to the record so my thoughts come out as my brain is reacting to the music. This is what I got out to this record. I guess what I’m saying is that if you like Indie Rock that sounds like Indie Rock than this is a good record for you.

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