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Album Review

Those bad boys in Oneida have always liked to rage, it's just that on their first record they do it a bit differently than on subsequent releases. The very fact that they use their real names instead of over-the-top stage names could indicate that they had yet to mature into the schizoid, noisy, booty-shaking rockers they were destined to become. Be that as it may, A Place Called El Shaddai's succeeds as a drugged-out piece of lo-fi experimentalism, as if the guys were in the basement attacking their instruments with hedonistic abandon for six days straight. Fortunately for the listener, the basement must've had the proper vibes, and whatever chemicals were floating in their heads were doing their job, because this loose, messy album is filled with enticing moments. The duo — there were only two permanent members at this time — and their pals veer from hypnotic, spacey ballads (the surprisingly beautiful "Salad Days") to fuzzed-out rockers (the tasty opener "Hieronymus" and the funk-skronk of "Ghandi for Now") with plenty of free form noisefests in between. The band conjures the spirits of the Velvets, Sonic Youth, John Zorn, and other N.Y.C. avatars as they carry on that city's proud tradition of musically preparing for — and helping to bring about — the apocalypse.


Formed: 1997 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Brooklyn's genre-defying Oneida take their primary cues from '60s garage and punk bands (especially MC5), but throw in plenty of heavy, bluesy '70s stoner rock (think Blue Cheer, Foghat, etc.) plus dashes of jerky synth pop, avant-garde jazz, and Krautrock. Originally featuring guitarist/vocalist Papa Crazy (aka PCRZ), keyboardist Bobby Matador (aka Fat Bobby), drummer Kid Millions, and bassist/guitarist Hanoi Jane (aka Baby Jane), the group made a name for itself in the New York area by virtue of...
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A Place Called El Shaddai's, Oneida
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