Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Oneida - Rated O

‘Rated O’, the second instalment in the ‘Thank Your Parents’ trilogy by one of Brooklyn’s finest, Oneida, is the follow up to 2008’s epic 3 track jam ‘Preteen Weaponry’. This ambitious 3 disc release certainly does not disappoint where other bands have. The first CD sees Oneida experiment from the traditional sounds of their other 9 LP back catalogue. Instead the band opt for programmed drum machines, electronic synthesisers and arpeggiators. The disc sees a heavy electronica influence, with dancehall rhythms and Ragga style vocals in opening track ‘Brownout in Lagos’. The aptly titled second track ‘Whats Up Jackel?’ showcases more Dub-like vocal sequences, along with Techno-like sounds. Track Three, ‘10:30 at the Oasis’, goes back to the 12 minute epic jam that Oneida fans are more familiar with on their previous releases, but still maintains the electronica vibe the project attempts to produce.
Part Two of ‘Rated O’ sees Oneida return to the more familiar guitar-based energy that they are used to, however this 7 track outing shows no evidence of a track over seven minutes long. This stands in stark contrast to the other 2 discs on this release. Furthermore, Oneida present us with heavier riffs and a more structured vocal attempt. Tracks like ‘I Will Haunt You’ and ‘Saturday’ reminds us of their unique, ’doomy’, Stoner-Rock racket that we all know and appreciate. The seventh track entitled ‘Luxury Travel’ demonstrates a slow tempo, sixties psychedelic noise that is again, in contrast to what we hear on the first disc.
The third disc carries on with their epic jams as showcased in earlier works including ‘Preteen…’ and 2002’s ‘Each One, Teach One’. With only the 3 tracks this time, featuring the less than 4 minute drone ‘End of Time’, sandwiched in between the 13 minute ‘O’ and 20 minute ‘Folk Wisdom’ respectively. It concludes the triple release in the way Oneida are best remembered for. What’s special about Rated O is that it won’t bore the listener in the same way that many triple albums do, due to the fact that each part is unique and varied in terms of both music and structure.

Freddy Rothman

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