Upon initial examination, this group seems to have the potential to be one of those balls-out American rockers; sweat and engineer boots, a red handkerchief in one pocket and enough Murray’s pomade in their hair to kill a small horse. With a title like Enemy Hogs and a cover featuring a Revolutionary-era bald eagle hovering over its nest draped in the American flag, holding a banner that reads “Annihilation to Traitors,” this could easily have be Social Distortion-meets-Molly Hatchet—hell, it is even released on some label called Turnbuckle Records! The only thing that threw me was the name, “Oneida”—didn’t sound very tough. But then I opened up the eco-safe jewel box (not very tough either), and read that the band members names were PCRZ, Bobby Matador, Hanoi Jane, and Kid Millions. Rad! Expectations were back up. So I popped it in. Dirty ‘60s sounding keyboards start it off, but it soon lapses into a loose, psychedelic jam that didn’t exactly whet my taste buds. Where’s the gruff vocals, the good ol’ power chords?
The next track delivers a good drumroll intro, but again turns into a weird, Beck-like circus song. Oooh wait, a few hand claps—they get points for that.
Song three starts off with a sad sounding bugle, like an army wake-up call on the Day of Judgement. A vague middle-eastern feel. In fact, I get the idea that Oneida are a bunch of army brats that stole their marching band equipment from the practice room, dropped a few tabs, and pushed “play” on the tape recorder. Then again, I could be wrong.
The rest of the album functions in the same way; catchy beginnings that turn up throughout the songs buried underneath layers of noise and weirdness. This does get progessively better with each listen, but for those of us workin’ for the man and slavin’ the 9:00 to 5:00 grind, we ain’t got time for “experimentation.” In that case, I recommend Molly Hatchet’s 1979 classic Flirtin’ With Disaster.