"My Sex," with its murmured vocals and church-y organ, suggests a prayer service, but this album is anything but reverent.
Elastica are still borrowing from old friends. The teeter-totter guitar riff from Wire's "Lowdown" is recycled in the ominous "Human"; Elastica's insidiously catchy "Nothing Stays the Same'' nicks the chorus from Wire's "Kidney Bingos" and blends it with echoes of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale." Elastica faithfully cover Trio's underground-single-turned-car-commercial "Da Da Da," and the Fall's Mark E. Smith pops up on the album in a caustic cameo.
But it is Elastica leader Justine Frischmann's eat-this attitude that carries The Menace. "You're so dead in the water," the singer-guitarist snarls in "Generator," one of several sharp kicks to the sternum that make the album hurtle by in under thirty-nine minutes. Garbage-can drums, rinky-dink keyboards and corrosive guitars also make a fine mess of all those secondhand melodies. Elastica may not be particularly original, but they're boisterous enough to make that shortcoming beside the point. (RS 847)