A very sedate style of music that mixes together Radiohead, Neil Young, and David Bowie, Akron/Family begins their self-titled CD with a track that almost seems dated in its delivery. â€œBefore and Againâ€ is much more before than again, an anachronism that is fixed with â€œSuchnessâ€. The flittering flutes of â€œSuchnessâ€ afford the track some atmospheric relevancy â€“ it honestly feels as if one is outside when listening to the track. Nature is almost another instrument on this disc, and puts a spin on this disc that seemingly all Young God releases have â€“ this self-titled disc hearkens back to the immediate (19th century) past of America.
Everything seems randomly-placed on tracks like â€œItalyâ€, the discâ€™s breaking-point; an eight-minute epic, â€œItalyâ€™sâ€ splashy drums and chorus of singers are practically the only things that keep the track from sinking like the â€œTitanicâ€. The disc seems to be divided into tracks due to purely commercial means. Akron/Familyâ€™s output is much more of a forty or fifty minute opera, with a number of movements. When Akron/Family finally goes radio-friendly (in Running, Returning) is where I can begin to understand why the band was signed. The use of vocals, meshed with drums as instruments bolster a heavenly second set of vocals. The track leads into a delightful mandolin solo and is one of the greatest successes on this disc, their first.
A little Spartan in sounds, Akron/Family keeps up a radio-friendly groove for â€œAffordâ€, using dusky vocals and differing instruments to create an original track that still conforms to the loosest rules of cohesion. Moving back into nature-mode for their interlude, Akron/Family comes back to prominence with a brooding yet hopeful track in â€œSorrow Boyâ€. Throughout the last year or so, I have received a number of YG albums, and it is with all honesty that Akron/Family is the first band that I was honestly impressed with. Akron/Family may be called alternative but donâ€™t let this fool you into thinking that they are the next Matthew Sweet; rather, they are an alternative to the acceptable forms of music (much like their musical ancestors Suicide, Can, and Pere Ubu). This self-titled disc goes by much more quickly than one would think 13 longer tracks would; the musicians in Akron/Family are actually skilled enough in a group dynamic to create this album and create it in such a way that the minutes slip away as one focuses in.
Top Tracks: Shoes, Running Returning