October 14, 2008

Oneida: "Preteen Weaponry".

Experimental rock has seen many changes in trend and variation, ranging from long drone-fests to current-day reminiscences of the archetypical 1960's sound, complete with big, echoey toms, single-note guitar attacks and minimalist-folk vocal accompaniment. The latter can be attributed to Oneida's latest offering, 2008's Preteen Weaponry and the first of the Thank Your Parents album triptych, and yet there's something else there, between the cracks and crevices of every spacey feedback loop and processed gurgle; call it a "modern flare", if you will. The "flare" I am referring to is that subtle melding of old tones with new ideas, which effectively digs up the skeletons of sonic deliveries past, dusts them off lightly, and utilizes them as if they'd never retired beneath the weight of all those years. Oneida is quite an appropriate example of just one of the many outfits in indie rock music who've groped around on The Beach Boys' musical mistress, though with Preteen, it doesn't sound like some bratty braggard still hopped-up from "getting to second base"; no, this kid's got the real story to back it up.

The "weaponry": three lengthy movements of slow-building, kraut-infused sunshine pop, minus the vocals, minus the "sunshine". You could shrug Oneida off as one more (dare I say it?) pretentious post-rock progeny, but you'd just be wrong; while there are some definite influences allowing Preteen its essence, it's the band's "flare" that truly lays claim to any advancements in psych folk and experimental rock, some of the group's earlier releases, such as Happy New Year or The Wedding, being among them. 

In other words: Oneida knows how to use the weapons of the past to deliver the goods of the future, and Preteen Weaponry is proof of this. All three tracks function as one song, so seat yourself and space out in the midst of this groovy new release. Who needs Animal Collective anymore, anyway?

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