Elastica The Menace (Atlantic)

The Menace (Atlantic)

Record Reviews


The Menace (Atlantic)

When Elastica first washed up on these shores six years ago with their commercially viable take on Wire's angular punk, Americans were utterly charmed. Who could resist the sight of vocalist/ guitarist Justine Frischmann mouthing the lyrics to "Stutter" (an emasculating paean to flaccidity, no less) with that alluring sneer of hers? But shortly after securing a slot on the '95 Lollapalooza tour, Elastica imploded and disappeared amid a myriad of lineup changes and rumors of drug use. It would be nice to say The Menace picks up where their self-titled debut left off, but the new album's morose lack of energy and foresight render it a mere skeleton of what came before. Tunes like "Image Change" and "Your Arse, My Place" sport decent enough hooks, but the band rarely bothers to convert those hooks into a solid song. The sing-song letter game of "How He Wrote Elastica Man" doesn't even get that far. Despite the long wait, The Menace smacks of smug, tossed-off pretension. What else could explain the inclusion of a by-the-numbers remake of Trio's "Da Da Da"? Today's lesson is an important one: Don't ever let your artistic license write a check your songs can't cash.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Curtis Roush
Cosmic Campfire Music (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Greg Beets
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
David Byrne
American Utopia (Record Review)

Oct. 5, 2018

Sunday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Neighbor Lady
Maybe Later (Record Review)

Oct. 5, 2018

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle