In 2012 I was looking on the punknews.org website like I often did and I came across a story showing a video of a bunch of acts covering the popular song Starships by R&B songstress Nicki Minaj. The acts featured RVIVR, Spoonboy and ONSIND. At the time I had only I had only heard of RVIVR before and had no clue that Spoonboy was in fact a solo artist and ONSIND are an acoustic punk duo from the North of England. I really enjoyed the cover and was encouraged to check out more music by them. ONSIND really stood out to me. This blog is about them.
Nathan Stephens-Griffin and Daniel Xllis formed ONSIND (One Night Stand In North Dakota) in 2008 in Pity Me Durham. The very first actual ONSIND song I heard was Heterosexuality Is A Construct. This song is an anthem about not discriminating against a person’s sexuality whatever it may be. The bridge of “Love Is Not A Crime, And I’d Rather Colour, Outside Of The Lines, Love Knows No Gender And It’s About Time, You Nailed Your Colours Up Next To Mine” really shows what ONSIND are all about. They are about playing catchy pop songs that aren’t afraid to speak out and tackle big issues. Other topics they write songs about include politics (Pokémon City Limits), sexism (That Takes Ovaries) religion (God Hates Facts) and mental health (Suicide Is Painful). Some very serious subject matter I think you would agree.
ONSIND have released three full length albums (Dworkin’s Bastards, Dissatisfactions and Anaesthesiology) and a number of EPs and splits put on independent record labels Plan-it-X and Discount Horse in the USA and UK respectively. All of their releases are absolutely brilliant and I would recommend listening to them all, often but for me ONSIND are at their very best when playing live.
Granted I have only seen them the one time but it was a truly special night. Supported my Mikey Erg (who is a hero and will be featured in another blog soonish) I was amazed by their performance. Having not previously seen much acoustic music live I wasn’t really sure what to expect. ONSIND were fantastic live. This was for me what a live show should be like, everyone was involved singing loud and proud along with ONSIND. This was a room full of mostly strangers joining together as one, ignoring each other’s differences and just enjoying each other’s company. It was almost like a political rally as much as it was a punk show such was the noise from the singing crowd, there was at best fifty of us.
ONSIND are a fantastic underground band who should be huge. It would be fantastic to hear more music like this in our top 40 charts rather than the normal songs about girls, love and going to parties. Do yourself a favour and have a listen to ONSIND, they might become you’re new favourite band.
Here is there Bandcamp page http://onsind.bandcamp.com/
See them in London soon https://www.facebook.com/events/271511149687755/
Now Listening To I'm Not Going To Lie To You by Wil Wagner