By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The members of Menomena will freely admit that they start each composition with a drum loop. We're all relieved that they cop to it, because the percussive assault of each and every song on their 2007 release Friend and Foe is jarring and undeniable and provides the momentum for a instrument-produced modular sound. The music is manic, jangly and kind of awkward in a sexy way, but so's the Portland-based trio, who share the burden and privilege of vocals similarly, we'd like to imagine, to the way they record: by passing the mike around.
Menomena partners with Tree Wave, a gorgeous complement and logical juxtaposition: A delicate duo who moonlight as Local Art Purveyors and whose sound sifts sweet pop through bizarre samples taken from Ataris, Commodore 64s and dot-matrix printers. Lauren Gray's fragile, sleepy vocals really qualify the avant-garde sound; the lengthy songs are like manufactured dreams.
Tree Wave: conceptually solid, aurally elusive art pop. Menomena: a sonic blitz rampant with silly lyrical digressions. You: happy concertgoer.
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