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Menomena:: Friend and Foe (Album Review)

Portland, Ore., trio Menomena blasted out of the indie rock netherworld with 2004’s ecstatic I Am the Fun Blame Monster! The band’s m.o. is direct from the future: Multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf created looping software Deeler, which forms the basis for all Menomena tracks. Now with their second LP, Friend and Foe, the trio hones its craft, mixing experimentation with David Byrne-like songwriting and jarring yet cohesive structure. Opener “Muscle’n Flo” segues from Blame Monster without breaking a sweat and flows into bombastic and angry “The Pelican.” The electronic inspiration shines in “Air Aid,” a futuristic ode to violence and love, which slips into the keyboard blast of “Weird,” every song seamlessly dabbling into the next. No filler, not one outtake, Friend and Foe succeeds in living up to the hype of Menomena’s first LP by growing wiser with every loop of sax and blast.