Oneida return with drummer Kid Millions, now recovered from a March car crash | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Oneida return with drummer Kid Millions, now recovered from a March car crash 

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click to enlarge Oneida


Jeffrey Brandsted

In March, days before the launch of a tour planned to support his band’s 12th album, Romance (Joyful Noise), Oneida drummer Jon Colpitts—better known by his stage name, Kid Millions—was hospitalized following a serious car accident in Los Angeles. The tour was canceled, and though his Oneida bandmates announced that he was expected to make full recovery, I didn’t think the group would be back in action this summer. In recent years, Kid Millions has ascended as a new-music dynamo, but he’s remained staunchly devoted to Oneida since it formed in 1997. The wild Brooklyn crew have fanned out from their heavy post-Krautrock beginnings—when they adopted absurd monikers such as Hanoi Jane, Barry London, and yes, Kid Millions—to become a polystylistic force that never allows the furious drive of their cofounders to ebb. Here again, Romance takes lots of different paths, but each one features serious propulsion. There’s a stuttering intensity to the motorik groove of “All in Due Time,” where Millions intones the melody as if he were channeling pioneering psych musician Kevin Ayers with a case of acute stage fright. “It Was Me” eschews a simple groove, but Millions holds it all together, swapping between explosive spasms like a drunken polka band and tight cymbal patter where he keeps time like a bebopper. The maniacal “Cockfight” might seem like a punk-rock jam if not for the rhythmic fluidity behind its jackhammer tempo. Though increased technical ability can dull the edge of bands that already balance their structural ambitions with furious performances, Oneida have masterfully pulled it off, perpetually adding greater complexity without sacrificing their characteristic rowdy exuberance.   v

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