Menace Beach‘s sophomore album was one of the most anticipated releases this January 2017. The Leeds-based outfit – with the duo Ryan Needham-Liza Violet in command – is back with a new experimental collection of college rock influences, mixed to that noise pop that allowed Menace Beach to become popular back in 2015. Meet ‘Lemon Memory’, then, 37 minutes spread in 10 tracks where a few good vibes alternate to other chapters probably less impacting than you could possibly wish.
‘Give Blood’ is the easy-going kickoff, followed by the power single ‘Maybe We’ll Drown’. Needham and Violet keep repeating “Why’d you always sing about death?” and Menace Beach end up sounding like they are thinking more of what they are doing. If compared to the more spontaneous flow of ‘Ratworld’, the feeling brought by ‘Lemon Memory’ is that the band has progressively lost a little of their inner cockiness to develop a more mature and tidy sound.
Anyway, fear not: the well-shaped noise of ‘Sentimental’ leads to the title track, ‘Lemon Memory’, which probably showcases all the best of Menace Beach in this release. ‘Darlatoid’ and ‘Suck It Out’ are still enjoyable, while the album goes ahead towards its ending, where the distorted ‘Watch Me Boil’ precedes the shoegazing atmosphere of ‘Hexbreaker II’. This last number is what I would pick as a favourite, a highlight for this record.
Let’s be honest: ‘Lemon Memory’ is a fairly good album. It came to us preceded by the reputation of a band which built up some expectations in the past two years. More importantly, it’s a record which takes a different path if compared to the band’s debut. Not a complete change of heart, but surely a different interpretation of what had made Menace Beach’s days back in 2015 with ‘Ratworld’.
Memphis Industries | 2017
Tracklist & Stream