Oneida / Cowards Anza Club, Vancouver BC August 22

Oneida / Cowards Anza Club, Vancouver BC August 22
Even though it's been a year since the release of their triple-LP opus and the second part in a planned triptych, Rated O, Oneida still packed the Anza Club on a Sunday night.

First, Cowards, a relatively new Vancouver band, got the night rolling. Featuring various members of Vancouver's thriving noise scene, as well as members of local favourites Certain Breeds and Fortress, Cowards struck a balance between their other projects by concocting a volatile brand of noise rock that commanded the audience's attention. Sharp post-punk guitar lines went head-to-head with lumbering bass, a combination that brought to mind Albini-era Jesus Lizard. Even the bellowed vocals of frontman Keith Wecker were reminiscent of the legendary David Yow. A promising start for a band that's sure to gain some attention outside of their hometown.

After Cowards released their grip on the crowd, Oneida stepped up and squeezed even tighter. Anyone there to hear the more formal material from their many studio albums would have been taken aback by the endurance tests that Oneida administered. The band locked in and played the more repetitious and lengthy material from their last few records, stunning the audience with their precision. Even the ten-minute-plus punk kraut of "Sheets of Easter," from the eight-year-old Each One Teach One, was put into the arsenal. However, it wasn't all brain rattling, with Oneida occasionally veering off into the cosmos and visiting the kosmische-inspired sections of Rated O and Preteen Weaponry. Nevertheless, the band would inevitably line back up and step into their lock-groove mode. But even after 13 years of existence, Oneida are as potent as ever, as this set featuring some of their most powerful material proved.