Akron/Family CD (Young God) | by John Brainlove

this is a really special record

The Akron/Family CD was composed and home-recorded by four 20-something guys in a Brooklyn apartment. But you wouldn't guess to listen to it - this sounds like it was recorded somewhere between a Nashville porch and the surface of Mars. Folk clashes with spaced out electronic noise, ballads disintegrate into tangled guitar webs only to rise again in a completely different shape. Even on first listen, it's clear that this is a really special record. Subtle creaking fades into simple strummed strings and sweet campfire vocals... ambient washes mingle with electronic beeps and whirrs, and melt over delicate slide guitar and tinkling glass sounds. These songs have a crafted feel - like you are being led by the hand through the Akron/Family's sonic world. Like there is a coherent masterplan that reveals itself to you, a little at a time, as you listen. The Akron/Family CD is composed of the kind of beautifully simple melodies that will stick in your head without having to smashing your ears in first - not like the obnoxious insistence of 00's pop or the bombast of 'Gay Bar' or anything so crass. Akron/Family takes an entirely different (and seldom-trodden) path. Like Grandaddy (back when they were good in the "...Western Freeway" days) or England's quirky electronic folk band Fonda 500, Akron/Family walk a distinctive route of their own design - curious, inventive and gently experimental, without ever losing sight of the melodies and loosely interconnected structures that hold it all together. This is the kind of record that will need repeated listening to really understand, but in the brief time I have had it I've already been quite amazed by the quality of the Akron/Family CD. The flow of ideas never seems to dry up, and even on the second and third listen, new things will leap out of the mix and surprise you. This is dizzyingly inventive music-making. Maybe, just maybe, this could be a classic debut. Right now, I definitely think so. Ask me again in a month. Or better still, buy this record and let me know if you agree... Trussssssst in me, jussssssst in me...