Akron/Family CD reviewed by Troy Brookins

Music Reviews
Akron/Family CD reviewed by Troy Brookins
Oct 9, 2007, 03:53

Akron/Family - Love Is Simple


No one could ever accuse Akron/Family of being lazy since they have managed to average three records a year since their stunning eponymously titled 2005 debut on Young God . Granted, this does include their Angels of Light collaborations with Michael Gira, but that alone could potentially warrant a couple of years off. Instead, they refuse to remain stagnant or rely on past formulas. In fact, it would be next to impossible to identify any aspect of formulaic styling unless you count the consistent harmonies that anchor the shape shifting sounds produced by the quartet.

Akron/Family just keep moving forward, crafting and creating sound collages that challenge the conventions of a cannibalistic indie scene. Similar to Animal Collective, a live show usually represents the future rather than the past. It can also be far more explosive than their recorded material would suggest, giving the audience more than a regurgitated iPod experience.

Love is Simple doesn't deviate from that aspect even as it crawls into quiet spaces that showcase a band made up of three singer-songwriters, and a workhorse drummer, who aren't afraid to lay on a few Zappa-like freak-outs that zig-zag in and out of the eleven tracks that address various aspects of love and other worldly obsessions.  It's not a band of egos, but rather a shared output that comes together as a solid collection moving in various directions only to be tied together by a common sense of purpose. No one member is vying for attention and that allows all three points of view to represent as a whole. It is definitely something that demands to be experienced as words alone fail to describe the unique dynamic that consistently runs through Akron/Family. Don't let the hippie/jam band analogies fool you because this in not a band of patchouli wearing dirt twirlers—far from it. They may at times sport beards and are certainly nice guys, but they also know how to lay on some serious noise that would confuse any hippie in search of a mellow vibe. [Young God]

-Troy Brookins

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