Onyon - Last Days on Earth LP (purple vinyl)
Onyon - Last Days on Earth LP (Trouble in Mind/USA)
German post-punk band Onyon scrambled our brains when we heard them for the first time last year, so much so that we signed them & reissued their eponymous debut cassette EP (originally co-released in limited quantities by the Flennen/U-Bac labels) in June of ’22. “Last Days On Earth” is the band’s latest & first proper full-length for Trouble In Mind.
The oddball, synth-soaked world of Onyon is disorienting at first - the band’s herky-jerky rhythms may operate in a familiar fashion to bands like Devo, Kleenex/Liliput, or label-mates LITHICS, but Maria Untheim’s woozy synth squiggles that populate & punctuate the band’s songs keep everything at arms-length. Flirting with the primitive cool of 80’s minimal-synth and the wire-haired cretinism of 60s garage, especially on tunes like the manic Dogman or first single Alien, Alien. Guitarist Ilka Kellner’s six-string salvos rage unpretentiously with edges torn & frayed, rarely (if ever) soloing, but never afraid to unleash a spindly lead line over Florian Schmidt’s rubbery bass lines & Mario Pongratz’s stuttering drum patterns that phase in & out of time imperceptibly like a drunk doing their best to seem sober. Kellner & Untheim share vocal duties (in both English & German - sometimes in the same song), but the real magic comes when the two sing together, voices merging in loosely harmonic gang vocals; one deadpan, the other slightly unhinged. The group’s beguiling lyrics add to the mystique - inscrutable neu-world fables about egg machines, ghosts, worms that talk, and urges to consume newspaper that ooze a rural, old-world understanding of life & the imperceptible spaces in between reality & fiction, transmuted thru a modernist sci-fi lens flare.