Review : Oh No Ono - Eggs
PitchforkThere's a backwards-looking quality to many of Denmark's biggest indie exports. Figurines and Alphabeat play garage rock like it still has something to prove. Efterklang and Mew look back even further, as if striving for the breathtaking sweep of medieval Scandinavian epics. Both of these tendencies collide in Oh No Ono, who crystallize all kinds of 1960s moon-fluff into chipper psychedelic pop. There are bold indie rock songs nestled in the volcanic special effects and choice arrangements.
Oh No Ono's 2008 debut album, Yes, emphasized grooves, like Junior Senior with more Strawberry Alarm Clock than Jackson 5 influence. Eggs plays down the dance beats, favoring slashing guitars, dry vocals, and stereophonic razzmatazz instead. For the detail-oriented listener who doesn't mind androgynous singing, it's a treasure trove of baroque trivia; a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum of sound. Marvel at the intricate pitch and tempo bends of "Eleanor Speaks"! Thrill to the impossibly detailed musique concrète bridge of the Stereolab-ish "Swim", where birds chirp, a coin drops and clatters to a stop, something rips, and water pours, each conspicuous yet on-rhythm! On headphones, it's like Avatar in 3-D: You aren't always sure what the hell's going on, but you don't care because you're so immersed in the wraparound mayhem....full text
SpinImagine if the strangest folks behind the sunshine pop records of the '60s swallowed Syd Barrett's LSD stash and rocked out underwater with the Electric Light Orchestra while breathing helium. Then envision something even more fantastical. The U.S. debut of this beguiling Scandinavian quintet features free-association poetry as discombobulating as its arrangements are unnervingly accomplished, and audio nerds everywhere will debate how these Danes managed to engineer such wobbly and woah-inducing sounds. Rarely has whimsical weirdness been done with such finesse....full text
Hangout.altsoundsWhat is experimental music? How do you define something that is supposed to defy all definitions and push music in unforeseen and unpredictable directions? I generally try to steer clear of definitions in music and art. Most people today are so preoccupied with what genre they’re listening to and how it reflects on them that they don’t actually pay much attention to the music itself. Thus, there are primarily two ways I can approach Oh No Ono’s album, ‘Eggs’. I can either review it in the safe light of its own genre or see how it stands alone as music.
As an experimental album, it ticks all the right boxes. Most of the melodies on the album are unpredictable and surprising. Each track branches off from its main melodic course, exploring all the available possibilities both in terms of instrumentation and in terms of vocals. When listening to most music I can usually tell where a track is going or how the melody will unfold. There was something strangely thrilling about not being able to predict the course of each track. Each time I thought I had figured out the direction a song was going in, I was almost immediately disproved.
There is no doubt in my mind that Oh No Ono are very adept, skilful and diverse musicians. There are hints of classical music, jazz, electronica, pop and rock throughout the whole album hence creating a highly individual and unique texture of sound. Upon listening to the album for the first time, I did not feel the vocals did the music justice. They felt too erratic and even though I am usually captivated by unconventional vocals, these did little for me. After a few more listens, I retracted my bold conclusion and now I can’t really imagine how else the vocals should be - even if they grate me....full text
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