Oh No Ono are ridiculous. Like a cross between the Scissor Sisters and any number of camp 80’s bands, they are five Danes living a glam rock/pop/synth lunatics fantasy. And look at the album title. Funny. 80’s camp glam derivations can go either way. Ono are considerably less David Bowie, much more Spandeau Ballet. The implications of that are yours to decide. More recent comparisons - specifically their hyperactivity and falsetto vocals (Malthe Fischer) - would be Hot Hot Heat. That’s right, another bunch of Scandinavian maniacs.
And it sounds like Ono know how to party. That is, if when you party you like to pastiche Abba and speed your songs up so they sound like they’re being sung by The Chipmunks (Alvin Simon and Theodore, if you need a nudge). And why wouldn’t you?Because it’s silly, that’s why. Oh No Ono definitely don’t take themselves too seriously. This is a good thing. Four of the five members have a mass of curly Bob Dylan ‘Blonde On Blonde’ hair and have song titles like ‘Ba Ba Baba Ba Ba Well Anyway’, ironically one of the more normal tracks on ‘Yes”.
Endearingly, they’re not afraid to extract portions of mickey from anyone. I mentioned Abba earlier (in Practical Money Skills For Life they sing: “Money, money, money, money/Let’s get funny with the money,” over the cheesiest, poppiest synth riff you’ll hear all year. It’s January, I know) and they’ve done a nutty version of Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. And they don’t hold up. The action is constant, the pace unrelenting. A rare breather on ‘Tanks No Thanks’ simply bursts into something more explosively eccentric.
Some people will love Oh No Ono. Some people will hate them. Using the Scissor Sisters as a gauge (musically) is a safe bet. Confusingly, album highlight ‘The Only Undead’ is like a fine oak chest of drawers in Ikea: out of place. It sounds not like the Sisters, but like Talking Heads, albeit with vocals from land where the higher you go, the better.