Oneida plays Empty Bottle - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
July 28, 2005
Oneida is one part band, one part Mr. Wizard, one part MacGyver, and four parts sucky. Psych (sic)! Oh snap, we just totally psych-sic'd you with that one. The fearsome Brooklyn threesome creates original sounds via the compositional talents of Fat Bobby, Kid Millions, and Baby Jane. The reading of the members' names is enough to know exactly what you're getting yourself into when you go to an Oneida show. There's nothing normal about this band, which is good because "normal" really means "lame."

In preparation for the non-traditional sounds the band knew they wanted to heavily incorporate into their latest and best album, The Wedding, Oneida took it upon themselves to construct a behemoth music box (Mr. Wizard) made from plywood, random nails and spikes, and the scattered motor parts (MacGyver) found in and around their own recording studio (Rules). The end result is exactly what the band set out to accomplish; music that sounds like no one else's... there's no one even close to this really. If a reference point was absolutely necessary, I guess you could compare them to The Beach Boys at Brian Wilson's trippiest, or what Black Mountain has been doing lately. But even those somewhat safe comparison will probably lead you far astray...

Oneida are one of the strongest bands of an unclassifiable genre. If that doesn't make much sense, well, often neither does Oneida. They aren't on the up-and-up with you. They'll synth you before spazzing you. They'll psych you up only to kraut-rock you down. They're art-rock like Liars but then switch mid-note to the sonic booms of Can. You think you're following along to the lyrics, and making sense of them, until you slowly realize that you have absolutely no idea. It's kind of funny actually. It's as if Oneida chooses their musical path by referring to their very own custom-made musical choose-your-own-adventure book.

You have to put in the time and energy to even attempt to figure what Oneida are all about. But often trying to solve their musical puzzle will only lead to more questions. Treading the fine line of experimentally interesting and just plain frustrating, the riddle that is Oneida won't be solved anytime soon. And that's exactly what you want. Bands you immediately "get" wear out fast. Those that make you struggle are the ones with staying power.

Oneida plays The Empty Bottle, Wednesday, August 17th.


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