It's hard to believe this is the same band that made I am the Fun Blame Monster. While Menomena has never lost the sense of sonic adventure that made Fun Blame Monster an exhilarating album, the record didn't hint at a band that would end up writing deeply personal and painfully honest songs. It's as if they enter each new recording session doing shots of truth serum.
According to interviews and reports, the recording of Mines was filled with infighting, divorce, hurt feelings, doubt, pain and exhaustion; however, coming out of that are 11 songs that seem to represent a catharsis from all the struggles. On "Dirty Cartoons" Danny pleads "I want to go home" like someone who doesn't know where that is anymore, but as the music swells behind him and the others join in his effort, hope starts to creep into the song. There are moments like that all over the record, like on the heartbreaking album closer, the Brent sung, "Intil", which includes the stomach-punch opening line of "I never thought I'd lie, but you don't want the truth".
Ultimately, Mines is a comforting record that reminds you that we all go through a lot of shit in life, but no one is in it alone. That isn't to say Mines is a downer – it's still a Menomena record filled with inventive instrumental flourishes and perfectly mixed sounds that will keep your head bopping, even as it fills your mind with something to think about.
Recommended If You Like:
Super Furry Animals, The National, life.
a beating heart.
old friends coming back for a visit.
a well used recording studio.
Listen to When:
you're trying to figure things out.
Vinyl the Cat says:
Menomena - Dirty Cartoons
Menomena - Intil