Music » Livewire

Oneida, with Lives of the Saints

Thursday, August 19, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Witnessing Oneida live, you half expect those onomatopoetic POW!s and BIFF!s that you used to see on Batman appear over the heads of audience members. As visceral as an abattoir, this Brooklyn band's scouring power could smooth out Keith Richards's wrinkles. Over six albums, Oneida has forged some of the most ruggedly handsome psych-garage rock of the past decade. They have mastered -- among other things -- the esoteric art of playing so fast that their music appears to be static (similar to the beating of hummingbirds' wings). But close attention to Oneida's sonic maelstrom reveals all sorts of spellbinding organ oscillations, guitar hemorrhaging, and rhythmic heroics. When not in explosive overdrive mode, Oneida can spazz out like early Devo fronted by Andrew W.K., veer off on ethno-rock tangents, or churn out quality meat-and-potatoes rock.

While tools like Interpol and the Strokes garner gold records and gallons of wrong-headed critical slobber, the three geniuses in Oneida toil in semi-obscurity on a tiny label out of Indiana. It's an outrage, but you can reverse this dismal state of affairs by going to tonight's show and buying Oneida's entire mighty back catalog.

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