The Menace

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The Menace
Elastica The Menace Cover.jpg
Studio album by Elastica
Released 3 April 2000
Recorded November 1996, September–October 1999, Bad Earth and Eastcote Studios, London
Length 38:39
Label Deceptive
Producer Marc Waterman, Elastica, Alan Moulder, Bruce Lampcov
Elastica chronology
6 Track EP
(1999)6 Track EP1999
The Menace
The Radio One Sessions
(2001)The Radio One Sessions2001
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 69/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
The Austin Chronicle 2/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly C[5]
Los Angeles Daily News 3/4 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[7]
NME 6/10[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
Select 3/5[10]
The Village Voice A−[11]
Wall of Sound 80/100[12]

The Menace is the second and final studio album by English alternative rock group Elastica, released via Deceptive Records in April 2000.


After the release of their eponymous debut record in 1995, the band started touring and in the process started partying ferociously and dabbling in drugs. The first attempt to record their second work was in France and Ireland at the end of 1996, but internal problems caused the departure of members (including vocalist/guitarist Donna Matthews and bassist Annie Holland) and the temporary dissolution of the group.

Leader Justine Frischmann, who had recently broken up with boyfriend Damon Albarn of Blur, started to work on Brian Eno-influenced mood music with flatmate Loz Hardy of Kingmaker, resulting on tracks like "Miami Nice" and "My Sex", which ended up on the album. Frischmann reconnected with Annie Holland in early 1999 and formed a new line-up of the band, including Justin Welch, keyboardist/vocalist Sharon Mew, formerly of Heave, guitarist Paul Jones (Linoleum's former member) and keyboardist Dave Bush, formerly of The Fall.

The band listened to previous recordings of the material and decided to re-do it all in the fall of 1999. Recording took only six weeks and cost around £10,000.[13] Bush's ex-bandmate Mark E. Smith participated in the writing and recording process of two songs in the album, "How He Wrote Elastica Man" – (a play on the title of the Fall's 1980 single "How I Wrote Elastic Man"), and "KB". The album also features two early sessions with Donna Matthews ("Image Change" and "How He Wrote Elastica Man") and a Trio cover, "Da Da Da", featuring the keyboards of Damon Albarn, under the anagram alias Norman Balda.

In a 2013 interview, Frischmann would reveal her regrets over the album’s worth by claiming Elastica should’ve been a "one-album project."[13]

The cover photo was taken by visual artist and musician Maya Arulpragasam, who also directed the video for "Mad Dog God Dam" and designed the cover for the band's last single "The Bitch Don't Work."


The album reached number 24 on the UK Album Chart.[14]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, The Menace has an average score of 69 based on 19 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Justine Frischmann, except where noted.[15]

  1. "Mad Dog God Dam" – 3:16
  2. "Generator" – 1:50
  3. "How He Wrote Elastica Man" (Frischmann, Mark E. Smith, Julia Nagle) – 2:02
  4. "Image Change" (Matthews, Frischmann) – 3:27
  5. "Your Arse My Place" – 2:15
  6. "Human" (Matthews, Frischmann, Gilbert, Gotobed, Lewis, Newman) – 3:29
  7. "Nothing Stays The Same" (Matthews, Frischmann) – 2:44
  8. "Miami Nice" – 3:21
  9. "Love Like Ours" (Matthews, Frischmann) – 2:22
  10. "KB" (Frischmann, Smith, Nagle) – 3:12
  11. "My Sex" – 4:10
  12. "The Way I Like It" – 2:39
  13. "Da Da Da" (Krawinkel, Remmler) – 3:52


Additional musicians
Technical personnel


  • "Mad Dog God Dam" is the result of Justine Frischmann's first stint at programming on Cubase.
  • "Your Arse My Place" is a twisted 12-bar-blues which was made for the sake of a filler at a John Peel's BBC session recording. Its main riff is "borrowed" from Adam and the Ants' "It Doesn't Matter" – a song which, fittingly, was recorded by the Ants for a John Peel session in 1978.
  • "The Way I Like It" was written for Damon Albarn.


  1. ^ "The Non-Definitive Guide to the Follow-Up - Article". Stylus Magazine. 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2016-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Reviews for The Menace by Elastica". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: The Menace – Elastica". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Beets, Greg (13 October 2000). "Review: Elastica – The Menace (Atlantic)". Nick Barbaro. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Raftery, Brian M. (18 August 2000). "Review: The Menace (2009) – Elastica". Time Inc. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Shuster, Fred (1 September 2000). "Sound Check". Los Angeles Daily News at TheFreeLibrary. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Hochman, Steve (18 August 2000). "Elastica, "The Menace," Atlantic.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Review: Elastica (1) : The Menace". IPC Media. 2000. Archived from the original on 30 October 2001. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (17 August 2000). "Review: Elastica – The Menace". Jann Wenner. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Perry, Andrew (May 2000). "The band who came in from the cold". Select (119): 100–101. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Review: The Menace (Atlantic, 2000)". Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Remstein, Bob. "Elastica - The Menace". Wall of Sound. Archived from the original on 26 October 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Berman, Stuart (26 February 2015). "The Connection Is Made: Elastica Goes M.I.A.". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "BMI Entry". Retrieved 2016-12-24. 

External links[edit]