Album: Menomena, Mines (City Slang)

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The Independent Culture

Recorded in much the same way as previous efforts (jamming, recording, looping, cutting and pasting), the biggest surprise about the latest from this Portland, Oregon, trio is how darn traditional it sounds.

At its best, the backing music has a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-ish way of morphing under the nose of the song, but there's a Damon Albarn-like arched-eyebrow earnestness to some of the singing that tempers much of the love Mines inspires. Play it loud enough, though, and you won't notice or care.