Album Review

Ono – “Diegesis” – [Moniker Records]

Naysayer   9/9/2014   A Library, CD

ONO. Chicago art band, funkestra, cult hero worship, absurdist orchestra, noise gospel (that’s what the tags say), political agitators, experimental (sort of) electronics with a beat, performance art. Lead singer travis (lower case “t” thank you very much and I can hang with that) is a total freak. Preacher like vocals chant and warble about the current situations, the past situations and all in-between and how we have messed up and let’s watch it fall apart (with a beat). He sings of the MOVE fire bombings. He sings of his PTSD due to his stint in the military in the 1960’s. It all continuously reminds me of ’80’s agitators Pop Group, Hunters and Collectors, Pigbag, Jah Wobble, but also the orchestra bands like Zappa, Captain Beafheart, Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, Henry Cow. There is a lot going on here: trumpet blaring in the back with echoey effects, pounding tribal like drumming, electronic sound effects, off kilter singing, plunking piano, tambourine, minimal guitar, chanting lectures, political confrontation, pounding dissonance. And all of this after a 30 year hiatus. All stand up for the full on hardcore FREAKS.

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