akron/family & angels of light

The Big Takeover | by Kurt Orzeck

akron/family: s/t
angels of light: sing other people

If a UFO hijacked a bunch of good old boys jamming on their back porch, Deliverance style, the music of the Akron/Family would be the likely result. This rural psychedelic quartet combines high lonesome hill vocals with beautiful harmonies and acoustic instruments with electronic space age flourishes. Their music sometimes moves like sap through a tree pushing out a rich organic fluid that oozes like a backwoods Beach Boy symphony. At times they build up cacophonic climaxes but soon relax into their strange but satisfying folk territory. Michael Gira (late of The Swans,) was so captivated by the sound of the Akron/Family that he joined forces with them for his latest release. There’s no escaping thoughts of his former band when you hear Gira sing, he still possesses that serious tone of gloom even as the music burbles brightly behind him. The result is a record somewhat at cross purposes, with the lively backup set off by Gira’s grim intonation. Unless the listener is already a fan of Gira, The Angels of Light record may be a challenge. Conversely, The Akron/Family CD should easily appeal to followers of the new experimental folk scene.