PVHF, Radio Centraal, Antwerp | by Gerald Van Waes


Akron / Family is Seth Olinsky (guitars, vocals, banjo, melodica, organ, accordion, bric-a-brac, fruity computer twiddling), Miles Seaton (bass, vocals, melodica, piano, bric-a-brac, orchestral computer sentiments), Dana Janssen (drums and percussion, vocals, piano, glockenspiel, bric-a-brac), Ryan Vanderhoof (guitars, vocals, bric-a-brac) with a couple more artists : Ed Sortman, Nate Wooley, Jeremy Turner, Stephanie Jon Park, Nmperign, John-Paul Norpoth, on additional instruments (trumpet, cello, violin, sax, electronics, double bass) with Michael Gira (ex-Swans) who was very involved in the production process. Within a song structure I've hardly heard so much attention given to the arrangements. They show a whole world of electronic, acoustic and mixed sounds interwoven, like a natural environment (like the drawings, like a surrounding of leafs, fruit, snakes), with the acoustic and (slightly American) electric guitar arrangements and song expressions (with some vocal arrangements too). The kind of perfection and warm sphere reminded me of the latest Sufjans Stevens album. There are arrangements from bone to skin which fit well together, and which are constantly clever and renewing. The songs build up well from inside but together show their own story-like evolution too, like a book, with slightly different expressions for each section or track. On “Italy” the percussion has a portion with something like spoons on glasses percussion. And there are a few soundtrack like passages, (like the “interlude..”), or small slightly semi-electroacoustic parts which still are acoustic. A few songs give a fuller warm band post-rock sound. It's definitely an album for repeated listening pleasure.