Review Summary: No band this loud should go unheard.
Oneida formed in 1997, and since then have released several great records. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people have not heard of this band. I myself was guilty of this ignorance until Oneida dropped the incredibly ambitious Rated O
in 2009. A massive, almost 2 hour long triple album spanning a wide range of genres – from krautrock to dub to acid rock. I was hooked immediately, and I eagerly trawled through their back log for more of their material. This was how I came upon Each One Teach One
, my favorite Oneida album and a great starting point for people who haven’t heard of this talented band.
To be fair while this album is a great sampler of what Oneida has to offer, it’s not for the faint of heart. The first two tracks are the least accessible songs this band has ever made, but they’re also their best. “Sheets of Easter” is 14 minutes of mind-numbing, crushing psych. The guitar and keyboard cycle the same hypnotic riff endlessly, while the band chants mantra like over the top. Gradually the voices fade, letting you drift in the wall of sound. When the drummer lays down a simple fill some minutes in, it hits like a shot of adrenalin. More gang shouts, more riffing, rinse and repeat ad infinitum. If you’ve never heard music like this before chances are you’ll be more than a little off put, but fans of Neu! and other krautrock will be delighted. The second song “Antibiotics” is less repetitious, but no less experimental. A keyboard driven jam, the song twists and warps around a mesmerizing bass line until the final section where odd synths and guitar effects undercut the lilting vocals.
If you’re not a big fan of psychedelic rock then the first half of the album probably won’t appeal to you much, but the second half of the album is much more accessible. The title track takes the screaming guitar from the first half and jams it into three minutes. “Number Nine” buries distorted and backmasked singing amid a swirl of keyboard sounds. “Black Chamber” is practically a pop song, emphasizing vocals and chiming organ.
Oneida is a very good band, and it’s a shame that they’ve gone relatively under the radar. Any fan of modern psych rock should definitely look into this band. Each One Teach One
is my personal favorite, but all of their albums are quality (Rated O
especially – I highly recommend checking that out also). I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.