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Akron / Family - Akron / Family

Akron / Family

Akron / Family

Available from Akron Family store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

The Young Gods label, it appears to me, is making a bid to give Language of Stone competition on the alt / prog / folk / oblique homefront, exposing young bands with very unusual notions about composition, arrangement, and acceptability of constituent elements…factors which have been long in need of reconsideration. Akron / Family's very name is a connotation of the Ohio city that produced such wunderkind as Pere Ubu, and I doubt the adoption was accidental, as this band is, in much different context, making bold moves previously considered unfeasible. Part of the inspiration is glitch, but there's also a strong sense of the neoclassical urge to break barriers, this time within more mildly established territory keeping many fidelities to the base of folk and soft rock.

Suchness is a striking example of this early in the disc, but then the entire cycle is quite unorthodox. It's very interesting, though, that so many of these ensembles are grabbing the evolution of madrigal as their jumping-off point. Perhaps as a reaction to the sturm und drang of so much of the rock of the last three decades? Makes sense, if so. The Industrial Age has been sufficiently protested and reflected, it's time to return to pastorality for a while. God knows we can use a bit of a rest…in this case, an intelligent layback with compelling tinkering and transformation.

These guys helped out Mi and L'au on the pair's marvelous Young Gods debut (here), and the two ensembles, though appreciably different, have much in common in terms of tempo, texture, and temperament, so the listener who likes the one will definitely like the other. If in need of a wistful catatonia, get Mi and L'au first, but, if desirous of cleverly and subtly brash creativity in a laid back consonance that has its vaulting moments (as in Italy), then get this before the other. Neither will disappoint.

Track List:

  • Before and Again
  • Suchness
  • Part of Corey
  • Italy
  • I'll be on the Water
  • Running, Returning
  • Afford
  • Interlude: Ak Ak was the Boat They Sailed in On
  • Sorrow Boy
  • Shoes
  • Lumen
  • How Do I Know
  • Franny / You're Human
All songs written by Akron / Family.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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