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No band has been so praised for such a wide range of music over the last ten years than Brooklyn's Oneida. Nobody has come close to matching their output of dazzlingly creative, uncategorizable music. Psychedelia, minimalism, maximalism, one-step, infinitewave, blah blah blah blah... it's all there, all the time; and Happy New Year, the band's ten billionth album, is Oneida's zenith. Simultaneously the most eclectic and most coherent album they have yet released, Happy New Year flows flawlessly from a traditional hymn of grim beauty ("Distress") through hypnotic rounds, thunderous kraut grooves, severe ballads, and other, indescribable music.
In some ways, Happy New Year is Oneida's most collectively based record, featuring a wide range of guests. Phil Manley of Trans Am and the Fucking Champs and experimental pianist Emily Manzo return for encores of their guest appearances on 2005's The Wedding; they are joined by Shahin Motia of Ex Models, Brad Truax of Home, and frequent Oneida collaborator Barry London. However, despite the impressive array of friends and neighbors at the party, this is also Oneida's most fully-realized personal statement--the document where they proclaim themselves the finest band recording and playing today.
Recorded at the soon-to-be-defunct Sunset Grill with Barry London and the Rare Book Room with Nicolas Vernhes, and over the last 5 years of their life as a trio, Happy New Year finally documents the community and spirit that Oneida cultivated in a city that gives short shrift to such ideals. By the time this record reaches your hands, Oneida's hand-built recording studio and rehearsal space of the past five years will have been bulldozed to make way for a housing and shopping bazaar designed and owned by the principal partners in the Mall of America. Brooklyn is changing, Oneida is changing, and this record stands as the document of a joyous time. Loss, fortitude, resignation, passivity and rebellion are all hallmarks of Happy New Year, as they should be. It's a record to mark the end of an era in Brooklyn music and to celebrate the rebirth of idealism in a harsh climate of profiteering.
Happy New Year stands as the crowning statement in Oneida's ten year existence as avatars of the Brooklyn indie rock world and features their most beautiful, harsh and enduring music. It also features the stunning artwork of up and coming Brooklyn artist Dan Schechter whose acclaimed work on The Wedding brought him long overdue recognition as one of the leading young figures in design in the country.
Oneida will be touring the United States on the release of this record in July of 2006 with their newly baptized fourth member, Double Rainbow (a.k.a. Phil Manley of Trans Am and The Fucking Champs).