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Akron/Family | Review

Washington Post | Mark Jenkins

the group has fashioned a musical mix that pulls in many directions yet never seems forced or haphazard

"Meek Warrior" Young God

IT'S ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE that Akron/Family's impressive new mini-album, "Meek Warrior," includes one song whose lyrics come from a Buddhist mantra.

On its previous releases, this New York-based post-rock quartet has attempted to conjure the fashionable vibe of "old weird America." There's still some of that on this disc, which includes a Elizabethan-sounding ballad, "Gone Beyond," and ends with a sort of New Age bluegrass hymn, "Love and Space." Yet such remarkable pieces as "Blessing Force," an almost 10-minute expedition through thumps, drones, chants, bleats and phase patterns, seem to take their direction more from Osaka than from Appalachia.

Perhaps the Boredoms and their successors weren't a direct influence on "Meek Warrior," but Akron/Family has found its way to a similar sort of agitated yet coherent eclecticism. With free-jazz drummer Hamid Drake joining in, the group has fashioned a musical mix that pulls in many directions yet never seems forced or haphazard. "Meek Warrior" is unlikely to be the band's commercial breakthrough -- it's too, well, weird -- but it is an artistic one...

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