Release Date: Jan 26, 2010
Record label: Friendly Fire
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The aptly named Danish outfit Oh No Ono build tension slowly in their demented carols, as if winding up a sinister jack-in-the-box that never pops. Their album Eggs was recorded in settings ranging from cathedrals to bathtubs, and has as broad of a stylistic range, evoking comparisons to both MGMT and Billy Corgan. But their grandiosity anchors the record.
If Oh No Ono have a specialty, it is the curveball. Their debut album Yes instilled in listeners the security of a familiar-sounding synth-funk, only to jolt them instants later with arpeggios worthy of Rachmaninoff. Sophomore effort Eggs is no less confounding, harbouring as many surprises as a Marcus Harvey mosaic if it were actually constructed by Escher.
The word 'psychedelic' is a tricky one. Once, I attended a gig where upon uncasing three sitars, a band proceeded to remove their shoes and socks, sit down on a threadbare Turkish rug and make the expected drone for an unbroken 40 minutes. A man at the bar, with whom I had been making small talk with the cacophony started, leaned over to me ten minutes in and said quietly: "Man...this is the most psychedelic thing I've ever seen".
There'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.
Danish quintet Oh No Ono’s second album, Eggs, was recorded over a period of nine months on Denmark’s Isle of Mon using several studios and a handful of oddball locales, including forests, beaches, and abandoned buildings. But this relative isolation doesn’t manifest sonically; on the contrary, all 10 tracks feature wall-to-wall sweeping arrangements, environmental sounds and unusual instrumentation, including trumpeting elephants, birds in flight, water-filled tubs as percussion instruments, and a prodigious choir comprising the band’s friends. In less ambitious, talented hands, all these factors -- especially when paired with an eye-roller of a band name and song titles like “Internet Warrior” and “Miss Miss Moss” -- would add up to unbearable pretension.