Secret Wars

(Jagjaguwar/Three Gut; 2004)

By Eric Krumins | 14 August 2007

Secret Wars are the best kind. I picture lots of soldiers running around in trenches shushing each other with super stern looks. Ninjas also come to mind, but they're always on my mind, so that might not have anything to do with Oneida. After listening to the album thoroughly I came to the conclusion that these secret wars are being thought in our minds! Crazy, and rather psychedelic, which makes more sense than ninjas, unless of course, they're ninja hippies on acid.

This album is like Volkswagen's new Beetle, only when it was new five years ago. It's old and yet futuristic, only just the tiniest bit threatening instead of being a cheery orange colour. Oneida blends psychedelic rock, like the oldschool kind, with drone rock in a nice and tasty package that comforts and yet isn't completely recycled. "Caesar's Column" is a time travelling Enon groove that gets things moving quickly, only to be followed by the even faster "Capt. "Bo Dignifies the Allegations with a Response," a quirky quick keyboard romp graced with some confidently Syd Barrett-esque vocals that sound nice and strange on an album from 2004. All this is heavily blanketed in fuzz, warm fuzzy fuzz that fuzzes so much the keyboards and guitars almost become interchangeable as if giving up their identity for the cause of reaching for greater heights.

There's a great simplicity to this record, as if the band is trying to find meaning through the repetition of a hook, over and over, like the closer "Changes in the City," a fourteen minute Spiritualized "Cop Shoot Cop" rock out built around a single pulsing bass line. It works in so much as I'd be listening to the song for about eight minutes before I realized it had no lyrics and was the last song. You just kind of get into it and stop thinking. I like that