It would be easy to fall into mistakenly believing that Danish quintet Oh No Ono have simply jumped on the psychedelic bandwagon for their latest release Eggs, given that from the opening bars of “Eleanor Speaks” you are immediately transported into the realms Empire Of The Sun and MGMT. The album artwork could even be mistakenly sourced back to those who have worked with the aforementioned duos. However, though as yet unknown on British shores, they have been a force to be reckoned with on the Danish music scene since their 2005 EP Now You Know Oh No Ono. Having furthered their notoriety with debut album Yes, the group lost keyboardist Kristian Olsen in 2008, for him to be swiftly replaced by the equally talented Nicolai Koch. Keen not to lose their momentum, the new line-up spent nine months recording the reputedly difficult second album in a variety of churches and studios throughout Denmark. Ever keen to explore unusual instrumentations, the quintet also used forests, beaches, abandoned factories etc. to build their own effects using contact microphones. However, with the ambient psychedelic music scene already oversaturated, will Oh No Ono manage to find their footing?
Oh No Ono often find themselves on uplifting gospel terrain and seem happiest with the optimistic.
Eggs, a common metaphor of the life cycle sees a band about to start their second phase while hoping to further previous successes. Eggs is not so much a birth but a rebirth and finds Oh No Ono drawing from past influences as well as their contemporaries. While they can easily be pitted against MGMT and Empire Of The Sun, those comparisons are perhaps too presumptuous. All three groups have similar sources, their overall energies differ. Oh No Ono often find themselves on uplifting gospel terrain and seem happiest with the optimistic. “The Wave Ballet” is intrinsic to Eggs development and its integral play off between the individual and the group is movingly styled. In contrast, opener “Eleanor Speaks” wreaks mid 90s Kula Shaker. The rushed singalong is equally awe inspiring, yet sets out on a different foot. Eager to get listeners into gear, the stomp is designed to get those feet moving and shoulders shaking. The hauntingly mesmerizing beat of “Icicles” is instantly irrepressible.
Only occasionally do Oh No Ono fall into the trap of being too similar to their contemporary competitors. “Internet Warriors” lacks their individual flavour and could easily be mistaken for someone else’s work. Eggs marks an international rebirth of Denmark’s beloved band and is an easy translation of what they best on home turf. Eggs is individual enough to stand out against the current swathe of psychedelic acts with some really touching moments.