Angels of Light | Review

HARP MAGAZINE | Fred Cisterna

November 2005 Reviews Rants & Faves Akron/Family and Angels of Light Akron/Family & Angels of Light - Young God Art-punk Michael Gira (Swans, Body Lovers, Angels of Light) and Akron/Family aren't the likeliest pair. The extraordinary Brooklyn-based foursome are ecstatic, beyond-eclectic music makers, while Gira tends to craft gloomy, intense songs that offer no release. A/F have backed up Gira live and in the studio, and Gira's label, Young God, released the group's first album. On A/F's portion of this split full-length, countless sounds show up: appealing pop harmonies and Animal Collective-like vocals, Beatles grandeur and Grateful Dead vibe, gospel lift and prog riffery. A typical A/F piece mutates unpredictably, but the changes don't sound forced; they intrigue. On the disc's final five cuts, A/F successfully shift gears to accompany Gira. The group manages to gracefully maintain its identity while serving its elder's vision. A goth-country take on Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" works nicely, and the percussion-and-chant-heavy "Mother/Father" surprises. That last track makes me think the newbies are rubbing off on the vet.