Review : Oneida - Rated
PitchforkEven three decades beyond the punk era, there's still a lingering urge to scoff at the supposed bloat and indulgence of the double album. Concision is often held as a virtue for many modern indie bands, and, let's face it, there are scant few double albums in rock that really have the ideas and vision to sustain their runtime. Save for prolific geniuses like Frank Zappa or Prince, the even-rarer triple album is more common for weighty anthologies, or documenting the live shows of acts with drooling fan bases, from the Grateful Dead to Pearl Jam. Sure, the Clash brought us a rare triple triple album of original material at the peak of their critical capital, but even that was reviled in certain circles. So... why on earth would any band release a triple album now?
Maybe you've never met Oneida. When so inclined, they'll fill a whole side of vinyl with one long track, one whole CD's running time with two or three-- and if you haven't seen them on the festival circuit lately, it's because they went ahead and started their own. The reason they can do this (aside from keeping their dayjobs) is that their fans-- being open-minded enough to absorb the many permutations of repetitive, inexhaustible rhythms, and stinging vintage organ and guitar over 10 years-- eat it right up. Those fans won't be surprised by the behemoth Rated O-- some have been waiting for it ever since it was planned and then scrapped before 2006's Happy New Year....full text
DustedmagazineRated O is the second installment in Oneida’s long-promised Thank Your Parents, a trilogy in three unequal parts. The first chapter, Preteen Weaponry, comprised a single song that was really an unswerving freeway jams. A year ago, this correspondent found it underwhelming, but it grows on you in the same way certain Can albums (Soon Over Babaluma, Flow Motion) do, with passages that initially seem bland or underdone revealing subtle riches if you just play ‘em often enough. So ask me a year from now and I may say something quite different about Rated O. But today, it looks like an indulgent, overstuffed and intermittently brilliant mess.
Mind you, indulgence is an Oneida hallmark. Kid Millions, Hanoi Jane, Bobby Matador, and whoever has signed on with them for a given album (O’s notes acknowledge the contributions of two additional band members and seven guests) have never taken the easy path. Devote a quarter of an album to one hammered chord? Plunk a plodding Sabbath-style rocker in the middle of your most tuneful material? Find a groove and hold like no one else is listening? They’ve done all that and more, and done it well enough to earn either respect or love depending on a listener’s comfort with his or her own prog tendencies....full text
ThequietusMy old man and modern music never really saw eye to eye. To him, it was series of shrieks, howls, pounding drums and a never-ending squall that sought to irritate the hell of out of him. Upon hearing The Birthday Party, his only response was to shake his said sadly as he questioned his decision to procreate. Which is not surprising really. As a nine-year-old in eastern Poland in the September of 1939, the Soviet NKVD gave him and his family just three hours to pack up their essentials before being herded on a packed cattle truck and shipped off to Siberia as part of Stalin's ethnic cleansing programme. Little wonder then that it was only really "Gentleman" Jim Reeves that seemed to placate the noises that went on his head.
It's worth mentioning because Oneida's triple CD Rated O is the second instalment of their 'Thank Your Parents' trilogy. A bold move, to be sure, the Brooklyn quartet have taken on the much-maligned template of prog and given it a 21st century update that stretches the imagination of both band and listener. Moreover, Oneida display a daring creativity that ensures that Rated O is far more than a straightforward passive experience. This is music that provokes and challenges and the rewards are handsomely rich....full text
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