Freakscene – The Inscrutable Majesty Of Oneida

I dunno about you, but my usual method of demonstrating appreciation for my mum and dad revolves around enthusiasm for the contents of their fridge when I visit, coupled with creative ways of blaming the postal service for my complete inability to remember when Mother’s Day is. Sometimes I buy chocolate.

What I have never done is release a series of brilliant but increasingly unwieldy albums of a stylistically indeterminate nature, songs united only by the fact the bottom end sort of makes you want to throw up (but in a happy sick way).

That’s because I am not Brooklyn’s Oneida, who’ve spent the last decade or so mucking about in the tumultuous waters of post-rock, hard-rock, kraut-rock, psyche-rock; quite a lot of rock basically.

Their latest project is the broadly inscrutable ‘Thank Your Parents’ series, which began with last year’s relatively svelte’ Pre-Teen Weaponry’ (a fat-free three songs in 40 minutes) and recently went properly epic with ‘Rated O’.

Taking the whole trilogy concept into strange new territory by itself being a triple CD set, it commences with the invigorating noise-dancehall hybrid of ‘Brownout In Logos’ and ends about 20 hours later with ‘Folk Wisdom’, a monolith of agitated toms and spacey burbling that accelerates into the void and beyond over the course of a run time over half that of the whole of ‘Pre-Teen Weaponry’.

How or why any of this serves to celebrate their folks is entirely beyond me: I sort of have an image of the Oneida seniors smiling nervously and saying “that’s, er… nice, boys” as ‘The Human Factor’ screams about them in inhuman agony. But whatever the case, it’s an entirely immersive record, unfathomable as the night sky and home to just as many awe-inspiring phenomena.

Oneida really don’t tour a lot, but denizens of the UK’s South and South West are basically idiots/cowards if they don’t get themselves down to the band’s Brighton, London or Bristol shows (tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday respectively), while Cork, Belfast and Dublin receive their dates with immensity over the following three days.

Meanwhile, anyone lucky enough to be going to ATP New York in September (and I hate you, I truly do) can bear witness to their Oneida Presents The Ocropolis one day event.

I can’t work out EXACTLY what it is they’re doing, but near as I can tell they’re going to improvise and record an entire new album over the course of one day. As you do. The only consolation I can take is that apparently ATP curators The Flaming Lips wanted them to cover prog overlords Yes’ 1971 album ‘Fragile’ in its entirety for the event.

Understandably, but maybe a little disappointingly, even Oneida seemed to think that was a bridge too far. I guess if you’re going to be out-weirded by anyone, it’s likely to be Wayne Coyne.