Onions – Pleasure Blast
Unlike the previous Manchester band I reviewed (Easter – Innocence Man), I had fewer expectations for this debut album by Onions. Mostly this was due to the lack of real information on which to build speculative expectations.
Despite this album taking an age even Jesus H. Foxx might wince at to materialise, and despite Ted from Cloud Sounds playing their demos at a rate of of pretty much one a month for the last few years, I’d still never listened to any Onions song bar I Want to be a Dancer with any regularity.
It’s an odd album too, matching a sort of carefree retro gleefulness with songs about council estates, dubious shagging decisions and freezing bedsits. That level of jaunty, whimsical bliss twinned with everyday kitchen sink subject matter gives the album a sort of quirky sense of willful defiance.
The music itself embodies that as well, with a resolutely non-hipster sound, cleanly produced and full of swoonsome harmonies. It’s a sound full of classic elements, but I wouldn’t exactly say it was a sound which itself belonged in any particular era. Alongside those pop harmonies sit some quite choppy indie guitars, adding to the somewhat unusual character of this album.
Maybe overall it could do with a couple more breaks in the nature of the gorgeous Never Gonna Change, just to break up the relentlessly manic grin of the overall album, and I am not particularly convinced by a couple of the songs towards the end, but in general this is a really good, idiosyncratic record, packed full of tunes, ideas and fun. Fun? Yes, could anything be more anti-hipster than that?