Menomena, Guards, Righteous Bros

When: Wed., Feb. 20, 8 p.m. 2013

Though Menomena's career began with two incredibly adventurous and alluring albums (and a brilliant, oft-overlooked dance score), the trio's 2010 LP, Mines, felt a bit like a slog of simply attempting to meet old expectations. Those cacophonous drum breaks and enormous baritone saxophone lines still clawed inside intricate and outlandish pop anthems, but the formula felt somehow tired. But in 2011, Brent Knopf left Menomena, an exit that essentially cut the tension from the trio and put the new duo back in motion, like a rubber band whose potential energy has been set free. Concomitantly, last year's Moms felt revitalized and vibrant, even as it worked through the band's most thematically daunting lyrics to date (parents and deaths, lovers and disappointments). The songs rush and leap, climb and charm, happily proving that sometimes it's possible to salvage a sinking ship. With Guards and Righteous Brothers. —Grayson Currin

Price: $14-16

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