Track Review: Menomena – “Capsule”

[Barsuk; 2012]

“It’s a long haul/ But you can do it/ You’re a natural.” So begins “Capsule,” Menomena’s second tease from Moms. It summarizes their plight quite tidily. After losing Brent Knopf last year, Justin Harris and Danny Heim powered forward they only way they knew how: they made more music. While losing a third of your lineup isn’t ideal, the band’s innate inventiveness provides some reassurance that even if Knopf’s absence is felt on Moms, it can be managed.

“Capsule” is a simple affair by Menomena standards, or rather, the standard that we have for Menomena. If this is how they do punk, it’s still capable of surprising. As the wall-of-distortion guitar speeds up, and it seems like this is going to be a real corker of a track, a slow-mo drum pattern barges in and settles everything down. Tightly structured and leaving little time for delineation, Harris and Heim are fairly obviously a twosome now. It may not achieve the scatterbrained intricacy of their earlier work, but “Capsule” is scrappy and good-hearted, a declaration that Menomena are nothing if not adaptable.

Moms is out September 18th on Barusk Records.