Denmark’s schizoid pop group Oh No Ono released an epic sweeping gem of an album last year to silence. A re-issue version came out at the beginning of the year. The band make a sterling effort and produce some sublime uplifting pomp.


‘Eggs’

Oh No Ono – ‘Eggs’ 2010

Leaf Label 2010, originally released in April 2009

Vinyl (x2 Gatefold Limited Edition)/ mp3 / CD


Track list-

Side 1.

1. Eleanor Speaks     (4:51)

2. Swim     (4:38)

3. Internet Warrior     (4:06)


Side 2.

1. Icicles     (3:28)

2. Helplessly Young     (3:06)

3. The Wave Ballet     (5:14)


Side 3.

1. The Tea Party     (3:45)

2. Miss Miss Moss     (4:19)

3. Eve     (6:41)


Side 4.

1. Beelitz     (9:46)


Personal-

Malthe Fischer – Vocals, Guitar, Samples

Nicolai Koch – Keyboards

Kristoffer Rom – Drums

Nis Svoldgaard – Bass

Aske Zidore – Guitar, Vocals, Samples



The all too often misplaced moniker ‘psychedelic’ couldn’t possibly sum up this sound-clash of an album ‘Eggs’; instead a more appropriate label would be ‘schizoid pop’.

Let me be clear, this record never quite manages to keep to any particular pattern,direction or style long enough to warrant an overall style:  which in this case should be applauded.

A whole host of influences jostle for prominence, saturating our ears with an abundance of theatrics; though the band never lose their grip on proceedings and remain fully in control of the dials at all times.

This Danish 5 piece, originating from the charming hamlet of Aalborg, have become highly influential on their fellow countrymen, inspiring these compatriots to bring out some highly entertaining experimental music.

Fellow Danes Mew – who lend certain lingering touches to this record – have already tripped the light fandango, releasing two well deserved critical successes. Can Oh No Ono repeat this?

‘Eggs’ was originally brought out last spring, a sort of testing the waters low level fan fare release, luckily they’ve decided to re-issue it in a new limited edition vinyl version and again through the normal digital formats.

Comparisons can immediately be made with Animal Collectives seminal, good time, 2009 triumph ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, which also shakes off the general mundanely daily trudge of life and offers an escape route to  Shangri-La. Also the same psych label is found attached, though really its more a case of clever layering and dreamy soundscapes, which still in a manner steer close to conventional song structuring as opposed to true psychedelic visionaries like Captain Beefheart.

The album opens with the energetic burst of ‘Eleanor Speaks’, which begins first with some field recorded ambient brushes of sound – a common intro used to lead in most of the tracks – before launching into what sounds like the nasal fronted Dead Meadows and Velvet Underground doing battle with Kasabian.

Violas and cellos via Echo And The Bunnymen’s ‘The Cutter’ evoke some transient pinning for the bazaars and colourful streets of Byzantium Constantinople; exuberant and extravagant in equal measures.

Our pantomime Danes turn all Nordic MGMT on the next two songs, channelling the New York stoner’s brand of psych into overdrive, pushing until reaching some interstellar flights of fancy.

The first of these songs,‘Swim’, is a saccharine tender lament, coated in brooding sweeping strings and castanets, whilst the second tune, ‘Internet Warrior’, ambles along on a MOR 70’s groove similar to REO Speedwagon.

An acid soaked ELO perform a wistful upbeat ditty before some unwelcome sped up nonsense vocals almost ruins the ambience.

A chilling wind brings in the suitably named ‘Icicles’, all wintertime sorrowful lyrics played out in a lovelorn strain, whilst the ever present distinct vocals emphasis the sense of loss.

Spark’s in ‘Lil Beethoven’ mode offer the orchestral melody and timing, helped along by more of those 70’s gentle rock balladry favoured by groups like Supertramp.

‘The Tea Party’ manages to evoke both Goldfrapp’s ‘Seventh Tree’ and The Beach Boys ‘Surfs Up’, as what sounds like a Western style, jamboree interrupts this combination of kaleidoscope influences.

The vocals sound like they’ve been recorded under water – oh yeah, all the vocals have some sort of effect on them, some highly amusing others subliminal.

One of the albums highlights is ‘The Wave Ballet’, a choral plush hosanna driven by a pulsating bass that uses a slightly more serene and serious manner to deliver an unequivocal moment of beauty.

Sharing the emotional spotlight is the minor opus ‘Eve’, which again features pleasant lush layering of chorus and sounds quite seraphic.

The vocals come over all morose Brian Ferry and Anthony Hegarty before a female harmony adds some alluring accompaniment.

Lavish strings once again break out all over the track, encroaching on Final Fantasy, turning into an outro soundtrack in the manner of ‘Once Upon A Time In America’.

The closing ambitious ‘Beelitz’ begins with bumbling taped voices being sped up and stretched out before being swept aside by a crashing Notre Dame Cathedral organ. Rolling timpani and percussion nosily battle with a full on orchestral suite, all to the tune of The Beatles era ‘White Album’ or Mercury Rev.

Intense rhythms and cacophony of sounds soon make way for a Harry Nilsson serrate moment, a solitary prose and thoughtful climb down draws near. The final echoes reverberate on the disappearing melody as more of those unwelcome voices being larked around with bring the album to a close.

‘Eggs’ can’t help but cheer me up and bring a wry smile to my face in the same way that say Sparks and Animal Collective do. It’s a feel good album of sorts that gets away with a lot, especially the 70’s MOR parts and high end hysterical vocals, think Mika if he wasn’t a talentless thespian turgid prick – yeah we know he really wants to be cast in Joseph.

When people talk of a certain edge or applaud experimentation in pop, they should spare a thought for Oh No Ono, whose lively brand of new wave electro space music truly sounds both totally out there yet could easily become a commercial success without too much compromise.

I’m expecting good things from these guys.

This one is already earmarked in the Monolith Cocktail pick of 2010- it will take some beating to get replaced.

Dominic Valvona

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