May 20, 2010

Funny has instantly appealing sing-songy tunes anchored down with the weight of morose lyrics. These tunes’ ingenuity captures life’s dichotomy of happy and sad. On one hand, Onion Flavored Rings’ guitar riffs make me feel super happy and carefree, like I was fourteen years old again and listening to early Green Day for the first time. On the other, scratch just beneath the surface of their sugar high riffs and you’ll find things are a bit more serious and not quite as happy as they appear. Take the poignant song, “Gurgle + Coup” about the birth of a child: “For you the flower of youth is blossoming; ‘Scrap Heap of History’ for me.” It’s songwriter, Steve Funyon, musing of how the happiest moments in life are truly the ones that bring the most suffering and frustration. This plays out through the entire EP. In the track “Running Away,” the happiness of one lover’s freedom is the anguish of the other one’s loss as the chorus explains, “You’re running away, Now it’s your moment: Free from underneath the thumb of torment. And your success now, Is my catastrophe.” Musically, the band never seems to seep down into a minor key anywhere. All five tracks come across rocking out—really up beat—like an Egghead or Nerf Herder tune. I don’t’ think any other band possesses the ability to make life’s mishaps sound so happy the way the Onion Flavored Rings does. This is one 7” worth getting.

 –N.L. Dewart (Thrillhouse)