Review Summary: Groovy synth-pop
Fusing together genres such as psychedelia, noise-rock, pop, krautrock, and jazz Oneida have made a name for themselves. Since 1997 the foursome has released a total of eight studio albums along with three ep’s. Covering an assortment of different sounds and moods The Wedding
is the most pop oriented and accessible album in Oneida’s varied catalogue. Being released just two years after Secret Wars
, The Wedding
moves away from the bands more dissonant and garage-punk sound and focuses on a more lush, disorienting atmosphere.
Although keyboards and synthesizers have always played a big role in Oneida’s sound they are really put to use on The Wedding
. Nearly every song on the album is littered with cheesy, mellow, and upbeat synth tones. Tracks such as Charlemagne
blend sugary keyboard sparkles along with cheery guitar riffs and Bobby Matador’s high-pitched, whimsical voice. As a result Oneida’s sound has shifted over to a much more new-wave, synth-pop sound.
Unlike a lot of other new-wave or pop bands Oneida are not afraid to experiment. High Life
is a lush blend of harsh drumming and glossy keyboards, sounding like it belongs on a Super Nintendo video game. The distorted guitar reverb and hypnotic vocals presented on You’re Drifting
take heavy influences from 60's psychedelia while August Morning Haze
sounds like a song being played in a Witches den. The opening number, The Eiger
showcases quick violin playing and more of Matador’s lackadaisical vocal stylings. It’s obvious that Oneida are capable of covering a wide range of styles in just thirteen tracks, The Wedding
is mostly pop oriented however there are many other zany influences and noises to keep it from being bland and flavorless.
Being familiar with Oneida’s more spontaneous and noisy garage rock recordings such as Each One, Teach One
and Anthem of the Moon The Wedding
was a shocking listen. For the most part the noisy guitar bashing and chaos takes a back seat to soothing keyboard tones and laser-esque sounds. At first I was mildly disappointed with the change in sound but in the end The Wedding
is not a bad electro-pop album. Oneida add just enough zany twists and turns to keep [The Wedding[/i] from being another trite pop album.