US - Oregon - Full Moon 177 - 02/18/11
Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
Dead Oceans Records
I just recently checked out Akron/Family, with their Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free (2009, Dead Oceans Records). The Portland, Oregon/New York City, New York based (no, they're not from Akron, Ohio) threesome performs folk-influenced experimental rock of the indeed appealing kind. Akron/Family formed in 2002, and the Akron/Family
II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (some title, eh?) is their 5th long player. Cosmic, yes.
What first strikes me is; this sounds like a more 'analogue' version of Animal Collective. The opening song is even called "Silly Bears" (an infantile tale of bears and honey) - get it? Secondly, this'll probably be one of the coolest records this year. From the opening sounds and rhythms, topped with perfect harmonies, I'm all sold.
Along with sweet, lovely harmonies comes distorted guitars and beautiful, noisy parts. Some songs make me think of the attitude of some of the more experimental (less poppy elements) of some Elephant 6 bands (a blend of The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control). Yet, then again this is poppy, and catchy, making you want to jump and cheer. Akron/Family must for sure be a sight playing live.
Some highlight tracks: the whimsical "Another Sky", the quiet and beautiful "Island" (up Bedhead's alley), the rough and tender "So It Goes", the playful "Say What You Want To", the colorful "Light Emerges", and the swaying closer "Creator". In fact, this album is so well composed and put together it's hardly got any fillers.
As I mentioned, Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT will probably end up on my top ten-list by this year's end. Maybe on top of them all.
I'm pretty sure about that. In mid February.
Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen