Angels of Light & Akron/Family – S/T (CD)

“Awake” begins of Akron/Family’s side of the disc, and it really does a perfect job of lulling listeners into a false sense of security, something that is shredded by the noise-influenced, oddly-arranged style of “Moment”. The multiple-harmonies present on “Moment”, hidden away betwixt the different epileptic outbursts of the band, bring listeners fully into the fold of the craziness that is Akron/Family. With the incorporation of this noise, something that would be an anemic, yet somewhat compelling track is really beefed up into something memorable. The droning of the voices towards the middle of the disc really take the momentum away from the instrumental noise, moving beyond any conventional role. The instrumental middle to Akron/Family’s side of the disc really slows the tempo down from the breakneck speeds it achieved in its early stages, and really allows the band to shine in a more nuanced way. The Sean Lennon-like vocals of the epic “Future Myth” seems to sneak a Wendy Carlos track behind the entirety of the music; this inclusion of such an atmospheric track really gives this side of the disc unlimited replay potential. Perhaps most interesting on Akron/Family’s side of the disc is the seventies-rock-influenced “Raising The Sparks”, a track that ties together odd bedfellows Jethro Tull (the lyric quality of the vocals) and Kansas (the all-encompassing guitar riffs). Overall, a very intense go by Akron/Family.

“I Pity The Poor Immigrant” looks back to the earlier Country & Western movement for its key influences; the vocals that Dylan originally laid down for the track are modified into something that seems closer to the late Johnny Cash. The deliberate slowness to the tempo of “The Provider” continues the country-tinged indie-rock of the Angels of Light. The key victory that Angels of Light have on this track is the emotional gravity that the instrumentation brings to the track, which progressively becomes more brooding as the guitars and bass become more chaotic. The slightly-heavenly vocal additions given to the main vocals during “One For Hope” makes the tenuous main vocals into something more beefy and substantive. This transformation is no less impressive than the ninety-eight pound weakling turning into someone who could defend eirself. Angels of Light even re-tool a Swans song (Mother/Father), which is so completely modified by the band that the track feels perfect in this context, without any of the aural artifacts that so often sink the cohesion of an album.

Top Tracks: Akron/Family: Moment / Angels of Light: Mother/Father

Rating: 6.1/10

Angels of Light & Akron/Family – S/T / 2005 Young God / 12 Tracks / http://www.akronfamily.com / http://www.younggodrecords.com / Reviewed 13 August 2005

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