From past experience you can usually get a handle on the band by looking at their album artwork. In this instance, there is no denying the album art is not completely mental, unsurprisingly; the music contained within is equally crackers. Regardless of their silly name Oh No Ono are far from stupid. Album number two from the quirky Danish quintet proves to be a contender for the mainstream. Simultaneously wearing their influences on their sleeves and creating something that resembles neither, the arrangements are reminiscent of anything from Kate Bush with a dash of Arcade Fire and MGMT’s psychedelic nuances. Just like the album artwork, it is as barking mad as it is original and refreshing.
Opener, ‘Eleanor Speaks’ is sheer orchestral grandeur with a hint of the unexpected; this more or less sets the tone for the entire album. Make it though this and its like opening up the rabbit hole to another musical dimension like nothing you would have previously experienced. Recent single, ‘Internet Warrior’ opens with some flange guitar reminiscent of the Super Furry Animals ‘play it cool’ before it explodes into a mind bending tsunami of sound. ‘Helplessly Young’ is the stand out single material. Sounding like an orgy between the Beach Boys and Phoenix it is the most immediate track on the album. Going off on a complete tangent ‘The Wave Ballet’ starts like a church service before gradually building into a space rock epic with vocals that sound dangerously like Axl Rose. But then all is forgiven when sublime the Arthur Lee inspired ‘Tea Party’ starts. Each track is as unique as the last and despite stitching together numerous influences and perhaps the best bits of the last 50 years of music, the tracks feel fresh and distinctly original.
Essentially ‘Eggs’ is a pop album in disguise. It feels like a soundtrack to a magical wintery fairytale, full of mystery and child like naivety. Each track representing a different chapter in a fantasy fable. Despite this praise, it isn’t for everyone, the falsetto vocals, fragile and delicate could grate on some listeners. It is also an album that should be enjoyed in its entirety. There are no quick fixes here. ‘Eggs’ is an accomplished, majestic album, so dense and multi-layered you are guaranteed to delve deeper with each listen. That being said, it has so much depth it is easy to be overwhelmed, however spend some time with this masterpiece and unravel the layers you will find that it transforms from an esoteric wall of sound into a decadent, sprawling magnum opus.
There is nothing else like this around at the moment, they are pioneers to a new genre and make the majority of other bands sound frankly boring. It is clear that I have tried and failed to not draw on comparisons to other bands. Doing so is the only way in the human language I am able to express just how diverse and sonically amazing this experience is. And that is precisely what ‘Eggs’ is, an experience. Do yourself a favour and give this a listen, if everyone did, 2010 could be theirs for the taking, it could be topping the album of the year lists come December.