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Boomkat Product Review:
Coming from the official hotbed of new indie talent; Portland, Oregon, Menomena certainly have a lot to live up to. A Pitchfork friendly indie act from Portland, it's hardly newsworthy is it, but that's why they have to try doubly hard, and eventually that's why they succeed so magnificently. Every part of this album is just made to make you prick up your ears and pay attention - the cover's the first thing you notice, with gorgeous laser cut artwork and phenomenal illustrations from Craig Thompson you're probably not likely to see a cover more lavish this year. And then onto the music - from beginning to end 'Friend and Foe' is a gigantic, polished, well-realised affair sounding something like the bastard offspring of Deerhoof and TV on the Radio. Menomena have often been criticised for sounding a little too close to the latter band, but that's hardly a bad thing, and for my money these guys inject enough of their personality to take their songs into places TV on the Radio just wouldn't tread. 'The Pelican' for instance takes a meteoric rumbling drum beat and lavishes it with the kind of indie-funk that makes it almost impossible to sit still when its on, and 'Weird' (for my money the album's finest track) has the kind of analogue bassline most electro acts would kill to achieve. They might not be breaking any new ground, but a more refined indie-pop album you are unlikely to find this year, 'Friend and Foe' is enjoyable, lavish and hugely memorable - an well worth further investigation. Recommended.