Akron/Family & Angels of Light | ReviewThe album took only nine days to complete, and perhaps because of this it sounds very fresh and passionate.
AKRON/FAMILY & ANGELS OF LIGHT - SPLIT ALBUM
It seems that Akron/Family have become Michael Gira's house band at Young God, and this is a very good thing. They do the first seven songs here on their own, then are joined by Gira and become his Angels of Light for the next five. Left to their own devices they seem to take smatterings of styles from rock's past and mix them together, whilst adding a contemporary edge, to make the result well and truly their own. Some bits sound vaguely Zappaish, but morph into 'almost-prog'. On the second song, 'Moment' the frenetic opening and punchy chord sequence sound not unlike Led Zeppelin, but then a theme reminiscent of Yes's 'Yours is no disgrace' begins to weave in and out. If this makes the album sound disjointed then I'll quickly add that it works beautifully......the songs are interesting to dissect, but are still great songs whatever.
There are plently of gentler, more reflective moments, too, sometimes joined by interesting bits of looped electronica/feedback/saxophone. Through headphones there are some really trippy bits of stereo panning to enjoy. Personally I really, really liked 'dylan pt.2' with the vocals heart-jerkingly plaintive at the beginning and end, but becoming more aggressively soulful as the band beefs things up in the middle section. And oceanside too is an arrestingly sad song.....which made me think of Tim Buckley's more wistful work.
After Michael Gira joins in, the band don their alt-country hats for a brilliantly grizzled version of Dylan's 'I pity the poor immigrant'. It's a great match, too, with some cascading slide work counterbalancing the appropriately dark vocals. The mood is sustained on the next song, 'the provider' where some banjoesque sounds and drones (e-bow?) set the scene for some distinctly uneasy-sounding lyrics.
On 'one for hope' a more positive mood develops, (I think it's about a new-born child), although the way they're sung isn't unlike Lou Reed at his most cynical. The old Swans song 'mother/father' sounds distinctly tribal, with primitive drumming and chanting, which is a neat contrast with the last song, 'come for my woman' which swells beautifully in understated, albeit somewhat threatening fashion into a tale perhaps of deceit, perhaps of death.
The album took only nine days to complete, and perhaps because of this it sounds very fresh and passionate. Earlier on, Akron/Family sing 'Sad that imagination it fades because everyone must get paid, so that catalogue stuff can get made'........and it's their imagination which I applaud wholeheartedly. This could easily have been a double album. Maybe next time!