When Menomena announced in early 2011 that, after some well-documented in-fighting, singer and multi-instrumentalist Brett Knopf was leaving the band to focus on his solo work as Ramona Falls, it didn't feel like a typically band break-up. More so than most bands, the Portland group's sound is a collaborative effort, with each member sharing songwriting and singing duties while juggling multiple instruments.
Menomena's highly democratic structure might be why "Heavy Is As Heavy Does," the first single from the band's new record, Moms, doesn't sound too different from their past work.
It's a tinge darker, but there's pensive piano, lyrics about strained relationships, and a noisy breakdown two-thirds of the way through. They may have lost a third of the band, but their sound has hardly changed. -- Andrew Gospe