With their fourth full-length disc, Portland trio Menomena have made their Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – a gorgeous and moody collection of songs about weathering emotional storms that’s meticulously orchestrated and tuneful. Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim craft their songs by recording and arranging loops, but nothing about Mines feels antiseptic or chilly: “Taos” is a slamming blues-rock track jammed with jazzy piano and squealing electric guitar, “Bote” bristles with TV on the Radio’s frenetic rhythm and “Killemall” channels the Zombies’ ear-tickling blend of major and minor chords. At times, the dense layers of horns, keys and drums are at war with one another, creating a mini-cacophony on tracks like “Five Little Rooms.” But Mines makes room for moments of simple subtlety, like muted closer “Intil,” which sounds like a lost Postal Service tune fed through Menomena’s folky, proggy filter.
- Barsuk Records
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