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CD Review: Oneida - Absolute II





CD Review: Oneida - Absolute II

A fixture of Brooklyn's art scene since 1997, Oneida may be one of one of the borough's oldest continuing art rock ensembles. An institution of sorts, the band has always been out in front of the trends, from Sonic Youth-inspired noise to the complicated rhythms influencing a lot of what we hear today on labels like Thrill Jockey.
For the last couple years, they've embarked on a hugely ambitious 200 minute, 3-part epic ambiguously titled album "The Thank Your Parents Triptych." The previous two installments have been high on concept, low on initiation. But with their latest record, Absolute II, the sounds I usually look for in this group are nowhere to be found.
The most striking change being the total absence of drumming throughout. For me, one of Oneida's highlights has always been the frenetic energy of drummer Kid Millions, so to not hear his kit at all was an unexpected departure. After listening through several times though, I found the lack of rhythm beds and patterned hooks in these four tracks surprisingly meditative. 'Grey Area' for instance, makes me imagine an electric razor is rolling around my brain... (in a good way). Opener 'Pre-Human' hints at a huge sonic landscape, while maintaining a soft, relaxing pulse throughout. This is a physical record, and needs to be walked around in, lived in for some time before you're able to get a feel for its dense, complex landscape.
Check out the the first single 'Horizon' at Oneida's bandcamp here to get an idea of where they've taken things for yourself. The album comes out June 7 on Jagjaguwar. - Mike Levine (@goldnuggets)

Published: May 13, 2011 |

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