Recording information: Last Gasp Studios, Brooklyn, NY; Old South Church, Boston, MA; Rare Book Room, Brooklyn, NY; The Sunset Grill, Brooklyn, NY.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Busy Gangnes; Erica Fletcher; Shahin Motia; Phil Manley; Fred Wallace; Brad Truax; Emily Manzo; Stephanie Rabins.
A fearless sense of experimentation has always been at the core of Oneida's approach, but their 2006 album HAPPY NEW YEAR found the band returning to the more nuanced sonic aesthetic first explored on 2005's THE WEDDING. Album opener "Distress" is driven by a medieval-sounding folk melody enhanced by a lovely chanted male/female vocal; the tripped-out singing that marks "Reckoning" is brought back to earth by gentle acoustic guitar lines; and "Busy Little Bee" even features a banjo. Oneida has always been a classic rock band at heart, though, albeit one with a penchant for squalls of psychedelic noise and stabbing keyboard hooks, and there's no shortage of either here. The live show favorite "Up With People" is of particular note, suggesting what Prince might sound like if he was backed by Faust. While HAPPY NEW YEAR doesn't necessarily raise the stakes on Oneida's artistry--they're pretty high by this point anyway--it's a solid addition to an already remarkable catalog.
Entertainment Weekly (p.81) - "Oneida still imprint each song with their own warped sensibility, often with an undertow of synthesizer dissonance..."
Q (p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] an unorthodox approach that pulls in such disparate influences as The Grateful Dead, Krautrock and electronic noise, often in the space of the same song."
Uncut (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[E]lectronica, folk, folktroncia, big beat, psychedelia and Krautrock, all guided by Kid Millions' astounding drumming."
Magnet (p.102) - "[T]he top ingredients are dreamy '60s psych effects and pop vocal harmonies, with some '70s Italian prog-rock arrangements thrown in.....Lovely, creepy and groovy: These guys give eclecticism a good name."