Every band has that one album in their career that stands as their true pinnacle of creativity. Now, that doesn’t mean that every album released after that one album will exactly sound inferior. They can be listenable or even great, yet it still cannot contend with that one outstanding effort. For example, Transatlanticsm was the top album for Death Cab for Cutie and Daydream Nation was the top for Sonic Youth. But those two bands have put out worthy successors since those releases.
This release cycle is a little different for Oneida. Last year when I heard Secret Wars, I was convinced that album was the best effort they would ever release. Now on their seventh album, The Wedding, this mind dribbling Brooklyn trio has made an album in strong contention with its predecessor.
The string arrangements are in greater abundance this time around as the opening “The Eiger” contains an arrangement befitting for high tea at Syd Barrett’s house, whereas when you hear “Lavender” only three objects will come to mind: LSD, a carousel, and a kaleidoscope. Trust me, you’ll know what I’m saying when you hear it. There are even weird lyrics in it about an old man being happy as pubic hairs are being braided. Just wanted to tell you ahead of time so you don’t find yourself slipping back a few seconds on your CD player asking yourself, “Dude, did he just say something about braiding his public hair” because the verse does come out of leftfield.
The Wedding takes a bit of a world trip without leaving your stereo, as some Eastern influence is abound in “Spirits,” with some psychedelic inflections that could have come out of an opium den during the Ottoman Empire, that is, if Quicksilver Messenger Service was the house band. Even the string setups in “Run Through My Hair” have this kooky cabaret thing going on as if combined with the music that they play at this place out here in Philly where I go to get my gyro fix. You lika da juice?
In addition to the Krautrock arias of “High Life” and the giddy singing in the track that is tantamount to the poptronica of the Postal Service, Oneida can even reign supreme in creating some early ’70s doom like Alice Cooper on “Did I Die?” Yet there is even this swagger in the rhythm that makes it perfect for pole dancing, exhibiting that Oneida has put out quite possibly the most cerebral pop-laden mélange of noise and tripiness. Any wedding like this is one worth attending.