Meneguar Strangers In Our House

Meneguar Strangers In Our House
Straight up, gimmick-free, guitar-based indie rock — remember that stuff from the ’90s? — feels like it’s on the verge of taking a long sabbatical. Just look at what’s floating the boats of bloggers and retailers and you’ll notice that most of this year’s highlights have more imagination than a guitar/bass/drums set-up pushing a simple verse/chorus/verse song structure. Yet that’s exactly what Brooklyn’s Meneguar practice, and on their first full-length they’ve managed to create something as vital and thrilling as recent jaw-dropping releases by innovative artists like Battles or Caribou. Continuing where their debut 2005 EP, I Was Born At Night, left off, the foursome push their guitar duels and excited rhythmic breakdowns into overdrive, resulting in a vehemence that’s so obviously missing from this kind of music. While they’re just a little too interesting (read: angular and spiteful) to hear on modern rock radio, they’ve got the big, friendly choruses that help a cult favourite like the Thermals sell records. Jarvis Taveniere’s vocal cadence is biting but tuneful, as his tendency to yell his lyrics results in melodies that ricochet off the double guitar leads. The funny thing about this band is their inability to write a standout track, which oddly contributes to the draw of Strangers In Our House. Once you turn it on, their consistent dynamism takes over and you’re in it for the long haul. Rock bands like this are hard to come by and Meneguar deserve much more than the status of relative unknowns. (Troubleman Unlimited)