Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental
Matched by some astonishing live shows in summer 2008 that showed the band's live power had reached a newly obsessive, maniacal height, Oneida's Preteen Weaponry, the first in a planned sequence of three albums, conveys a strong taste of that experience across its three parts, all named after the album itself. Drawing as ever on many familiar, powerful touchstones ranging from classic Krautrock trance-and-surge and acid rock obsessiveness to the kind of focused aggression familiar in band like Loop, Lightning Bolt, and any number of their compatriots and followers, the band creates a thick, rumbling series of pieces that leave much room for delicate touches amid the chaos. On the first part there's a serene, softly descending keyboard sequence that sits up front in the mix even while the drumming in particular amps up into sheer -- but never unfocused -- frenzy.
In the 2004 documentary Kill Your Idols, Lydia Lunch and a bunch of other original no-wavers ripped their 21st century imitators for focusing on image and fame instead of subversion. It's probably not a coincidence that, despite being one of the originators and constant creativity pushers of the new scene, Oneida was nowhere to be found in the film. While Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Liars made utter fools of themselves, Oneida has been the closest to the spirit of no wave's original purposes: constantly pushing boundaries and daring you to apply a predetermined label.
One can only wonder what Oneida’s implication was when entitling their latest album Preteen Weaponry. In that fledgling era prior to even teen angst, I recall jumping on trampolines, eating five-cent candies, and doing backdrops whilst ‘shooting’ at enemy aircraft – fecundating nourishment for the far more dampening years ahead. But this record reminisces in something far, far away from sugar-coated sweets being the arsenal of imagination.
ONEIDA Preteen Weaponry (Jagjaguwar) Rating: NN In what's shaping up to be the most pretentious music experiment of the year (maybe decade), Brooklyn noise-makers Oneida have released the first instalment of a planned trilogy named Thank Your Parents. The sequel is rumoured to be a triple album, while Preteen Weaponry is a three-part instrumental that the band claims took three years to write. And guess what? It was recorded in three days in three separate locations! That's the kind of self-indulgent chicanery which only appeals to record geeks.
Click your way through Dusted’s collected takes on Oneida at the bottom of this page and you’ll see one word over and over again – prog. The Brooklyn-based trio’s previous releases have betrayed their affection for twisty, turny, synth-infused prog rock, especially the sort that originated in a certain European country that used to have a weak currency. But they’ve balanced such proclivities with stabs at Ozzy-esque wheeze-rock, Simon and Garfunkle-style folk-rock, and quarter-hour-long one-riff sludge-fests.