Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner
Before Danes Oh No Ono took the stage, the Mercury Lounge capacity crowd was treated to a sporadic set by Brooklyn locals ArpLine. Their electronica sound, regularly augmented by guitars and other live instruments, had the bouncy qualities of Javelin but lacked the complimentary zeal. They came out flat, unable to register a single melody in my head.
Celebrating the global re-release of their album Eggs, and their US debut, Oh No Ono’s excitement was mostly contained. Power adaptors in tow, the quintet’s high-pitched orchestral anthems of psychedelia and pop fell on eager ears during their 45-minute set. Though their intonation fluctuated wildly and their overall arrangements lacked the pastel precision of their tightly rehearsed helium-fueled record, their lush and intriguingly catchy melodies were resilient overall and a successful synthesis of live and sampled elements—running their bass through a guitar amp was also key in attaining their treble-soaked tone. Translating much of Eggs’ magnum sound into a live setting never became a concern—if one was tolerant of some rough edges, not unlike the Merc Lounge itself—and songs like “Internet Warrior” and “Helplessly Young” flowed with their peculiar sense of harmony and verdure.