Akron/Family | Review | LJ Battaglia

beneath the chaotic juxtaposition of musical elements lays a subtle, yet masterful song-writing ability

Meek Warrior

2006 Young God Records

 What happens when four country kids relocate to Brooklyn, NY in the hope of making the next great American record? What you get instead is three rather interesting releases by a band called Akron/Family on ex-Swan Michael Gira's label Young God Records. Their latest release, Meek Warrior, is pure art school-gospel that is as confounding as it is exhilarating. Just when you thought the Brooklyn scene hit its creative peak with Return to Cookie Mountain earlier this year, Akron/Family has added another chapter to the ever evolving musical scene that is Brooklyn, NY.

A serious reconsideration of the musical possibilities that lay ahead in the 21st century is a damned near unavoidable after the initial hearing of "Blessing Force", the opening track to Meek Warrior. It is staggering to the mind to hear four dudes unabashedly banging out their deepest darkest musical desires. How does it come across? Well, I think it's safe to say that Meek Warrior is THAT album that on a dark and stormy night your stoner friend or weirdo roommate will corner you and insist "Dude! you gotta hear this!" All the while hurriedly pulling up the album on iTunes and then stopping suddenly, he gives you a serious look and says, "wait...smoke this first, trust me!"

The transition from the closing jazz freak out of "Blessing Force" to the delicate hay-danglin-from-the-mouth hymn "Gone Beyond" finds the band reveling in its wide array of musical abilities and tastes. Folk, noise-rock, alt-country, whatever. The musical borders in this band were stripped away along time ago. What comes out is a beautiful noise that holds more sway over the mind with each ensuing listen. The unpredictability of the musical directions within the record is what will probably garner most of the attention from critics. However, beneath the chaotic juxtaposition of musical elements lays a subtle, yet masterful song-writing ability.  This contrast perfectly informs the listener of what it must be like for a group of artists to transition out of a rural setting and into some Brooklyn loft, channeling the maelstrom of artistic urbanity that is proliferating out of the borough across the bridge.