Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Menage “Menage”


Menage is a brother-sister trio originally from Portugal – their music has been described as “Arcade Fire’s anthemic songwriting meets The Smashing Pumpkins sonic bombast”. I couldn’t agree more with this assessment and find myself discovering new things to appreciate about their self-titled debut album with each listen.

The Ferreria siblings trade male and female lead vocals, and often complement one another with striking harmonies. The female lead exudes the warm charm of Jill Sobule, but with a great deal more power. The mix in the vocal performances made for a dynamic listening experience, but the band has a tight chemistry that gives Menage a trademark sound no matter who is at the mic. The 14 tracks are expertly recorded, with mixing by David Botrill (Muse, Peter Gabriel) and mastering by Ted Jensen (Radiohead, Bjork).

The songs explore themes related to chasing your dreams, growing up, and letting go, and they come at you with a youthful urgency that is hard to resist. Not every song has a sharp hook that sticks in your memory, but there is great potential to be heard here. When the band is firing on all cylinders, magic is the result. Just listen to the seductive power in tracks like “Promises” or “Home”, or the frantic energy in “Bury Us Young”. First single, “Tonight”, is also a wonderfully sharp duet that is instantly likeable, with a beautifully constructed chorus. My favorite is “These Are The Days”, which should be the second single in my opinion – it is a brilliant piece of pop rock. I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for days!

Watch for “Menage” on November 13.

Menage – Official site.

Check out the video for “Tonight”:

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