In the real world, wealth tends to be the determining factor between being labeled “weird” or “eccentric.” In terms of music, I think it would hinge on talent. This EP is my first exposure to Oneida, and I don’t think I’m doing them wrong by slapping them with “weird.” Usually I’m a big fan of “weird,” but this disc feels ridiculously self-indulgent. The biggest problem is “Hakuna Matata.” Far from being Elton John-penned cartoonist pop, the song is replete with throbbing electro beats, shimmering incidental noise, a low strummed pulse and acid flashback vocal echoes, but it manifests little of interest to excuse the track’s fourteen-minute length. It feels like an attempt at hypnotic psychedelica, but the song’s pre-programmed beat relegates the organic sounds to the second-tier and yields the track as creatively impotent as an average raver-endorsed house track.
The first three songs fare better, but there are better versions of “Summerland” and “Inside My Head” on Black Mountain’s latest disc. Only “Song Y” is able to make claims of relevancy, drenched in springtime effects and riding in the slipstream of a rainbow. Unfortunately, it’s the shortest song on here and definitely not enough to rescue the rest of this disjointed disappointment.
Ace Fu: www.acefu.com