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akron / family - Meek Warrior
It only seems like yesterday when Akron/Family's breathtaking self-titled debut album rolled into the office. The accomplished band's striking collection of psychedelic folk tinged with prog and Kraut-rock did much to wow critics worldwide, and then they set about touring their socks off (on their own and as the backing band to Michael Gira as the Angels of Light) to forward their reputation still further. This seven track album is a 'thank you' to their fans, a stop-gap before their imminent next album and an example of the sort of riotous genre-defying abandon we have come to love and expect. Interestingly it features renowned free-jazz drummer Hamid Drake, members of Canadian post-rock behemoths Do Make Say Think and members of Broken Social Scene, which I suppose serves to support the fact that this is more unusual than your common or garden Akron/Family album though it's what the album actually sounds like that counts. I can thankfully say that the band are on top form as ever, bridging the gaps between so many different genres it's easy to lose track of what you're listening to. We are instantly thrown headfirst into the almost 10 minute epic 'Blessing Force' which begins in typical carnival style with a pounding snare drum and maniacal clapping before morphing into a middle-eastern jam of bouzouki and mandolin, building up screaming feedback noise like Sonic Youth doing free-jazz then ending on a good few minutes of avant-sax expressionism. It's almost frightening how this band manage to fuse this amount of music together and on paper it probably sounds like a bad idea, but Akron/Family's power is that they make it all sound natural. Want to hear music that is truly progressive? Well look no further, Akron/Family are here to help...