Onyon Onyon cassette

Berlin has been the dominant player in the neo-Neue Deutsche Welle scene, from the Allee Der Kosmonauten collective (AUS, DIE SCHIEFE BAHN, etc.) to the recent output of the Mangel label (with the likes of KLAPPER and OSTSEETRAUM), but just a few hours to the south, the much smaller city of Leipzig has been holding its own, too—last year’s killer LP from MARAUDEUR exuded playful, synth-damaged art-punk cool, and this debut cassette from the new quartet ONYON brings shrouded-but-spiky, subtly goth-tinted post-punk à la early XMAL DEUTSCHLAND out of the Cold War and into the digital age. Vocals alternate between German and English, rarely deviating from a sternly deadpan shout, the beats are of the martial, unwaveringly hi-hat/snare-forward variety, and period-perfect ’80s keys help to scratch that waved-out Zickzack itch. When they raise the urgency level a bit, like on “Octopus” and especially “Klick,” ONYON pushes through the fog of mid-tempo cold-punk and right into the keyed-up synth punk territory of KITCHEN & THE PLASTIC SPOONS—those moments are when the tape really blazes; hoping they lean even harder into the wild electro-art-punk impulses next time around.