AKRON/FAMILY S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT CD/LP

Five albums down and still musically boundless, Akron/Family has delivered another chimerical collage of acid drenched psych-folk, expectantly, sounding like nothing else—including them. If Akron/Family has a formula it’s smoke a lot of pot, throw it out there, shake it out and see what sounds good.  While there have been reference points that connect one AK record to the next, especially folk music and vocal harmonizing, there’s no criticizing these guys for simply relying on what worked in the past. From free jazz to drum circles, there’s not a sound out there that AK can’t bend and twist into something that becomes their own. This is evident throughout S/T. Allegedly recorded in a cabin built into the side of an active Japanese volcano as well as an abandoned Detroit train station; S/T mixes explosive songs influenced by Jap noise rock and Brazilian psych guitar fuzz with a few dreamy ballads. Those who have criticized AK’s lyrics as being silly in the past will have no reason to stop now. While it has never bothered me, I can see how someone might take issue, especially on the opening track “Silly Bears” bu whatever the band lacks in lyrical aptitude, they make up for with creative experimentation that they can proudly call their own and that's good enough for me. [Dead Oceans]

-Troy Brookins


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