Menomena

Fri, Oct 12, 2012, 01:00

"Moms" Barsuck Records***

Originally an art.poptrio from Portland, Oregon, Menomena is now down to Justin Harris and Danny Seim. Jokily likening the departure of Brent Knopf as Peter Gabriel leaving Genesis (“and everyone knows how much better Genesis got after that talentless hack Gabriel quit. Wait a minute . . .” wrote Seim last year).

The band’s fifth album seems content to not so much rest on their laurels as scatter them. You could safely accuse Harris and Seim of a marked lack of cohesion, but when the constituent parts are so good it’s difficult to complain. Sound-clashing vintage soul, 1970s rock, avant-noise, jazz- hands horns, subtle strings and pure pop, “Moms” comes across as more than just a collision of retro and outre. Put this down to what seems to be at the heart of the record: two sharp- witted multi-instrumentalists doing their best to locate and, occasionally, inhabit the zone. menomena.com

Download tracks:Plumage, Heavy Is as Heavy Does, Pique