The Menace

The Menace

Elastica’s follow-up to their 1995 self-titled debut album took five years of personnel changes and production attempts to finally assemble as 2000’s The Menace. Where their debut album went for the jugular with wham-bam punk numbers, The Menace creeps and crawls down a number of art-rock avenues. The Fall’s Mark E. Smith guests on “How He Wrote Elastica Man,” a pun on his own “How I Wrote Elastic Man.” The burbles of their new keyboard team of Dave Bush and Mew, who, in part, replace guitarist Donna Matthews, are heard throughout. Matthews does offer the gorgeous girl-group pop of “Nothing Stays the Same” before exiting. “My Sex” deals in haunted-house organ and romantic whispers. “The Way I Like It” features acoustic guitar and the sound of a demo leaking onto the soundstage. The straight-up power of old is parceled out in measured doses as the rage of “Mad Dog,” “Your Arse…My Place” and “KB” feature singer-guitarist Justine Frischmann’s angry vocals atop the splintered guitars and creeped-out keyboards. One of the weirder follow-up albums that remains artistically rewarding while still finding a way to deliver the goods by an alternate route.

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