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Menomena : Mines

This four piece from Portland, Oregan are kinda old school, kinda psychedelic, and kinda boring. The songs on this, their fourth album, plod along quite languidly and never really reach any great heights. Maybe that’s not the point, but good rock music should excite and inspire you, not be a cure for insomnia.

 

The vocals are another point of contention. The band obviously like to share lead vocal duties between the three members, and you would hope that this would provide some interest and variation in the sound, but the opposite is in fact the case. All three lack range and depth in their voices, and the vocals tend to match the music: ie. dull, droney and uninspiring.

 

Menomena also wear their influences a little too plainly for all to see. Their production and general vibe brings ‘70s-era Pink Floyd to mind quite sharply, and the main vocalist’s channeling of Damon Albarn is just a little too close for comfort.

 

It’s not all bad news however. There’s some reasonably interesting experimentation amid the drudge, and the occasional decent song. Dirty Cartoons builds from acoustic, minimalist beginnings into an epic of sorts, and Bote features some pretty dense and diverse instrumentation, and a slightly higher energy level.

 

It’s not quite enough to lift this album above the ordinary though, and one feels that these guys could mine a slightly more exciting musical vein.