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The Wedding

Oneida

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Album Review

Oneida have become one of the more rewarding groups in experimental music in the mid-2000s, since they're so unfailingly curious about all their detours. Catatonic psych-rock, heavy blues dirge, post-punk, garage, the anxious blipping of a vintage keyboard — it's all fair territory for them. 2005's Wedding is no different. Hanoi Jane, Kid Millions, and Bobby Matador drop some inventive pop with "You're Drifting" and "High Life," two songs with real melodies that still manage the unlikely instrumentation and the misdirection you've come to expect. A violin punctuates an exalted ending chorus, blurry organs wail, and — of course — someone pisses in Prospect Park. Both songs are like more lucid versions of those Eric Gaffney contributions on Sebadoh's old albums. ("Holy Picture" on III being just one example.) But that's only one facet of Wedding. Speaking of violins, the album begins with "Eiger," where the Swiss mountaintop becomes a place for proclamations to pretty German girls and a full chamber quartet. "Run Through My Hair" matches a brittle mandolin to electric guitar stabs and treated drums for some great psyche weirdness, while "Heavenly Choir" is some clammy sewer drain version of 1970s boogie rock, like an alternate universe Edgar Winter Group. None of these tangents sound forced, or made for the sake of being screwy. Instead they're twisty vines off a central root. So when Oneida opens the nearly eight-minute "Beginning Is Nigh" with a light saber warble and some steadily building organ, you know you're in for a ride. Unfortunately, you're not — there's a guy mumbling, and a guitar making some noise, but nothing really happens. That's okay, though. Oneida come right back with "August Morning Haze," which brings the strings back to match wits with the liquid tones of a Rhodes and some more impressive vocal harmonies. Wedding might not be Oneida's most way-out album, but it's as satisfyingly restless as anything in their catalog.

Biography

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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The Wedding, Oneida
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