Recordings: Akron/Family & Angels of Light – Akron/Family & Angels of Light

    As we approach our final, off-beat destination, please put your toddler’s ears back on and bring your weird tolerance dial to the maximum, upright position. A stewardess will be coming around to collect the remnants of your allegiance to the tired cult of genius as we fly through the restless landscape of Akron/Family, a New York fivesome with a Marxist respect for the power of collective genius.

    Akron/Family & Angels of Light – Akron/Family & Angels of Light

    Don’t jump out the window relying on the ole freak-folk parachute, or say you’re too in love with rock stars and pop icons to admit that a little group work and attention to detail usually outweigh glorious inspiration. If the Lennon/McCartney revolution didn’t convince you, sit patiently through the grand swelling of the Family’s “Future Myth” until the messy, gripping five-part harmony climax comes in; then, rejoice. As five is greater than one, I promise it’s better than My Morning Jacket.

    They even let the booming baritone of Michael Gira dominate the last half of this split record. Though Gira’s guttural poetry irons out Family’s formal mischief — with its tendency to daydream long watery landscapes before suddenly coalescing into electric-rock throb sessions — it’s a pleasant shift rather than a complete departure. While Gira’s voice comes to dominate, the Family’s sporadic harmonies still contribute a vital, absurd corner of the final destination. It’s a 747-size trip through the fountains of distorted Americana, where space is for once not at a premium. Instead of a chief pilot, there’s a whole band of weird kids flyin’ the thing.

    Akron/Family will perform at the Casbah on Jan. 30.

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