Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oneida - Anthems Of The Moon

Year: 2001
Label: Jagjaguwar

Here's a great band that you don't hear about all that often for whatever reasons. They had a brief moment of semi-notoriety when music journalists were lapping up anything from Brooklyn a few years ago, which happened to coincide with an uptick in interest in all things dubbed "psychedelic rock".  Oneida was in that Williamsburg scene, holed up in their compound building their own instruments, making field trips into the woods to gather sounds, and quietly making some very loud and and very original music. 
There's a lot going on in this album, and the moods shift from spastic to soothing while never sacrificing the intensity that runs throughout. I guess this does qualify as "psychedelic" in that they base most songs on simple, catchy bones, then flesh it out with seemingly incongruous sounds, patterns, and drones. The results can be disarming if you're only casually listening, but if paying attention, the whole thing coalesces into a uniform attack. 
Supposedly, most of this record was the result of the band going out into the woods of New England where they would record the sounds of nature as well as their own songs. From those expeditions they pieced together the majority of the album, including the screams of a screech owl which show up on "Almagest". Shit's no joke.

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