Saturday, October 15, 2005


Oneida: The Wedding Review

Oneida has never been a band that fits neatly in any defined genre of music (which seems to have become a genre in itself), but for the few people out there that have become accustomed to their particular brand of somehow consistent mind-bending psycho-rock, this latest offering will come as something of surprise even to their more ardent fans. Don’t get me wrong, The Wedding still offers the same kind of intelligent garage freak outs as their previous success, Secret Wars, only this time with strings.

Before I had heard anything of The Wedding I was lucky enough to attend a more-or-less private performance of a few of the new songs with a string quartet, and afterwards I was dumbfounded, unable to comprehend how a band who on a recent album, hammered my brain to the point of explosion with a 15 minute song of nothing but the same chords being mashed over and over, were now sitting before me singing softly against short and melodic string compositions. But alas, it is true and it is wonderful.

The Wedding is adventurous in a way that only Oneida seems to be these days. It contains pretty string and voice sections on “The Eiger” , soaring guitar solos on “Did I Die” and perhaps the only Oneida song that could ever be likened to a Postal Service song, “High Life”, and yet it all works beautifully together in an experiment just creative and ambitious enough not to piss me off. While it does have its slow points, there’s hardly a moment of dullness. Whether or not you’re familiar with the rest of Oneida’s vast catalog, or even because you are, The Wedding will be one of those albums that isn’t just an interesting listen but a highly repeated listen as well.


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