Oneida – Annihilation to Traitors – Review


Annihilation to Traitors (Turnbuckle)
by Craig Regala

Hmmmm… something about the publicity and the actual music here doesn’t jibe. Or maybe I was expecting it to be more “rockist” proper like a buncha the new kickass/stoner/groove/doom bands raising their bed-heads above the radar. So; it ain’t that and there certainly is plenty of “that” to go around, so why expect Turnbuckle to switch their label profile? Onedia has the structural dickery and bonking around of the other disc on Turnbuckle I own, Be/nons You’re playing w/children in the land of the bugs. Both records have a rock base and taste for the springy/noisy/droney top end that bespeaks similitude or kinship to the Homestead and Shimmy-Disc labels tweaked and skewed (but still rock) output.

Like many rock bands in NYC, these guys have access to musicians and venues that throw a polyglot of sounds and genres around. Oneida make use of a choir here, a trumpet there, a guest guitarist in the middle, and make the wise choice of welding together a kind of identity that side-steps both genre hopping, i.e., “here’s our fuck song, here’s our trip-hop tune,” and simple grafting, i.e., any press release from a band who’s promo staff is going after Korn’s audience. So what they do is play “rock” music that kinda rocks out and serves an often vibrantly stoned head (theirs, yours if receptive), with tweeks and twitches, jamming the high end now and then with dissonance, space drones, chanting and the all important “what not.” Fortunately, like some stuff I see as their spiritual and musical (if not straight on stylistic) forbearers – The Velvets, Chain Gang, The Girls, Pere Ubu, Mofungo, Bongwater, Sonic Youth, hell, even Run On – this troop keeps the bash’n’tap of the bass and drums going on underneath what I was talking about. Recommended to anyone who wishes “alternative radio” actually presented options now and then that the advertising dept. didn’t approve.
(163 Third Ave. #435 New York, NY 10003)