The Menace - Elastica
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Although its moods swing across the dial, it more than delivers on the group's initial promise.
  2. Naturally, it would have made more sense if it appeared in late 1996 or 1997, since it sounds like a simple step forward instead of a great leap into the unknown -- the kind of record that was bashed out in a few weeks by a band desperate to deliver a sequel to a hit record.
  3. The Menace, the long-delayed follow-up, finds Elastica in an unrepentant mood, scuffing up their terse, trashy guitar rock with fun-house noise while adding a handful of ambient mood pieces that sound like Aphex Twin castoffs.
  4. While The Menace isn't as coruscating as Primal Scream's funk-noise plasma wall, Exterminator, it does offer enough twists, turns and fractured sensibilities to make listening to music an active experience again. [#146, p.88]
  5. 80
    The prickly edged new wave of the band's debut has morphed into keyboard-addled post-punk on The Menace.
  6. 80
    Gone is the preciousness of Elastica. Instead we get a confident and comfortable Frischmann, her voice, ever cool, fronting a rejuvenated punk-loving band.
  7. 80
    The Menace is a far more varied and ambitious LP than the first and, one suspects, than the Elastica album we'd have got four or three years ago. A very pleasant surprise.
  8. Simultaneously more tossed-off and expressive than 1995's Elastica album, The Menace is a frustrating listen, oscillating between actively courting the listener and fashioning a more tangential state somewhere between punk momentum and wearisome breakdown
  9. 70
    Sounds like lovelorn, half-baked philosophy for the Mariah Carey set.... Lucky for Justine Frischmann and her reconstituted Elastica, rock 'n' roll doesn't require lyrical profundity, just great beats, riffs, and attitude. All are here in spades... [#47, p.90]
  10. What "Menace" lacks in continuity it more than makes up for with brass balls and a sense of adventure.
  11. 70
    They still make totally successful, totally stupid modern rock anthems pumped up on three-chord riffs, an abiding love of the sci-fi sex-kitten archetype and a separate track for handclaps.
  12. It's hard to imagine Elastica's fans being patient or loyal enough to care much either way about The Menace, though it's artistically solid enough to warrant consideration.
  13. Without the gritty substance of the first album, it has all the depth of a packet of peanuts.
  14. There are hints of the stuttered hooks that snared listeners on the band's '95 debut, yet they're so snarled in manic sound, you're unsure whether you're being grabbed or gagged.
  15. Compared to the angular new wave of yore, the Elastica sound has matured into something far more interesting.
  16. Another satisfying collection of quick, riff-happy new wave/punk rock that, while no match for its first album, was nonetheless worth the wait.
  17. Elastica throw out crackling melodies with little regard for the listener.
  18. While sleek, skilled production on The Menace keeps their tightly wound new wave tracks from sounding dated, Frischmann's lackluster (often tuneless) songwriting stutters.
  19. A 38-minute spoonful of slop, the sound of a band pissing it all away.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. BenjaminBunny
    Apr 17, 2004
    6
    Let's face it: Elastica is over. This CD isn't bad, but not good enough to merit a five-year gap between their classic first album and this (I'd guess was due to Justine Frischmann's heroin problems). Buy the first album, burn this. Full Review »
  2. BeauK
    Oct 19, 2002
    10
    Witht he release of "The Menace" Elastica has finally gripped onto what seems to be their best album yet. Delivering both a familiar and yet matured eruption of less jagged punk sounds, they have learned to vary their songs and still appease the old fan. Full Review »