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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

8.7

Menomena
Moms

Ten years ago, everything was different. You were finishing up your fairly useless university degree, putting off the mundaneness of full-time employment for a while. Choosing instead to retreat to the north of England to prove you could survive a brutal winter and work in a debt collection agency. People were dying. People were beating cancer. You were trying to work all that out. And who you were as well. Your musical appetite following suite, purposefully bypassing the easy options for anything owing their foundation to experimentation and an appetite for challenging and directionless spaces. The more left field the better. The more purposefully disengaging and difficult, the more refuge you found within.

Ten years is a bloody long time. Gradually everything changed. People died. People moved away. You settled in. You settled down. And the evolution of your musical absorption traced over your life changes. Things were tightened. Honed in and, in many ways, simplified. You longed for comfort. Something that didn't push you away, but instead dragged you into a more fragile world. Yet, at the same time, you longed for music that welcomed you into a place that made more sense than your previous engagements. Something that understood everything about what had happened and dealt with it in a restrained manner. Something that washed over you and shivered up your spine with vibrancy. Comforting, believable and passionate. We now just need someone to tell us that everything is fucked, it'll probably always be fucked and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Moms isn't about being old, it's about growing old. Passing through a passage of time and gradually coming to the realisation that certain things are now considerably less significant than they used to be. It's about understanding who you are, how you came to be that person and the jigsaw of experiences that created you.

This is an extremely literal album. Lyrics are delivered with a knockout intention. Whether they're discussing "glory holes" or "fucked up family trees", thoughts and feelings are laid out strikingly bare, without reserve. Something completely unimaginable from this band a decade ago.

But Menomena are a dramatically different band now. No time for fucking around and being magical, not when there's actual thoughts and feelings that need to be unloaded. And now there's an indebted importance places on you/me/everyone understanding their communicated ideas. Even if the confronting manner means they lose a couple of die-hard fans.

Including one such delightful young fella I know via fibre internet cables and electronic mail exchanges, who attributes his lust of Menomena to this website. That's an extremely satisfying notion to be attached to, especially considering this whole operation is held together by bitter hatred, filthy phrases and occasional flashes of gushing praise. Upon the release of Moms he emailed me to share his feelings.

"I'm not feeling it".

And he wouldn't. He's a decade younger than myself and there's a whole lifetime that exists in-between our current positions.

"Bookmark it. Don't give up on it, come back and visit it in five or so years. If you don't like it then I think I'll have to delete you from Friendstar, mate. [emoticon]"

Questions flowed back-and-forth. "What's Friendstar? How old are you? What are you wearing?". Responses to which, are not fit to publish here and/or anywhere under the proposed Government Internet Filtering.

But age isn't nothing but a number. Richard Kelly said that once. Right before he plunged repeatedly into the anal region of a 13-year old girl called Aaliyah. And age has nothing to do with this. Neither does maturity, as that bump-n-underage-relations sentence above clearly confirms. Moms isn't about being middle-aged and appreciating farmer's markets more than marking "farmer's daughter" off your Deep Throat Bucket List. It's got nothing to do with "how much you've lived". Whatever the fuck that means. Nor is it's enjoyment dependent on your worldly knowledge, traveling experiences or number of times you've experienced heartbreak (about 808).

No, Moms is about simply getting on track. The clever omission of any retrospective undertones presents a band in transition rather than a reflective twilight. Of course, this relates to the physical dimension (they're now only two-thirds the size of their former selves), but also in a creative manner. Menomena are now explicitly stating their intentions instead of simply spinning us around and hoping we catch a glimpse of what they're trying to present. Choosing engaging moments of clarity over unpredictable spurts of fun. Ten years ago I might have flipped this one off and dismissed it as being too introspectively focused, too linear and too straight-forward, but now it's the perfect comforter, with just enough of everything that initially made this band such an exciting man phenomenon left in-tact.

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Menomena

 

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Comments

Nolaroid

This is a beautiful (and occasionally impressively filthy) review, fella. Thanks.

I'm feeling Moms. And I'll shortly be sending this review through those selfsame electronic mail exchanges to a few more people that I hope will too.

6 years ago

Muscle'n Flo

you never did tell me what you were wearing...

6 years ago

Wayne

This is a sensational album. Full of honesty and pain and great music for good measure. Basically this band hasn't missed a step in their career, even after Brent left the band.

6 years ago

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