If I’d have been doing this blog thing back in 2009/10, then pretty much every second or third post I’d have been looking to find an excuse to reference Oneida the way I have this year been finding any excuse to reference Hey Colossus. In the world of my music taste, Oneida are amongst the Gods, primarily for the masterful Rated O but also the incredible consistency they have demonstrated across their catalogue coupled with the fact they don’t take themselves too seriously. In fact, all the Gods in my musical world exhibit almost identical traits to those just described. It also helps when you can drop a tune that is as outrageous and awesome (and I mean that word in its true sense, i.e. wonderful and a bit scary) as Sheets of Easter.
Oneida have, technically, been a bit quiet over the last few years, but what they’ve really been doing is stuff other than Oneida. One of those things is People of the North, whose new album is some seriously top grade psychedelic medicine. Sonically we’re in the areas of their recent explorations, but this is much more free form as you would expect from improvised situations such as these, and very close in spirit to the free jazz musicians. This is much more than just some blokes walking up to their instruments, expressing themselves freely and then walking away again – this is some blokes walking up to their instruments, playing freely whilst also listening to what is happening around them and constructing a glorious sonic world in the process, yo.
I consider this album basically unclassifiable, but that may mean that I am ‘uneducated’ in this realm as much as anything else. I think the best albums always are a bit unclassifiable though. Part of the problem with using words to describe something that isn’t words, I suppose.
Words, eh? Can’t live with ’em…