Angels of Light/AkronFamily | Review

Alternative Ulster | James McDonald

collaborative songs have more of an alt-country feel to them

November 05 Angels of Light is the solo nom-de-rock of Michael Gira. The man responsible for the corrosive bleakness of New York's No-Wave pioneers Swans. Akron/Family is a Brooklyn-based band signed to his label Young God Records. This album consists of 7 AF songs produced by Gira and 5 more performed by Gira with AF as his backing band. Anyone worried about spending time in the company of a man who wrote a song called "Public Castration Is A Good Idea" can relax, this is all pretty pleasant stuff. AF play inventively ramshackle folk; infused psychedelic rock with the occasional blast of white noise and strong emphasis on lush vocal harmonies. Their contribution should please the ear of anyone who holds "The Soft Bulletin", "Wowee Zowee" or even "Trout Mask Replica" close to their hearts. Highlights include the bluegrass rave up "Raising The Sparks" and the floaty haze of "Future Myth". The collaborative songs have more of an alt-country feel to them, acoustic guitars, slide, piano and Gira's booming barritione dominating. There's a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Pity The Poor Immigrant" and a drums and voice re-working of Swans' ode to the Oedipal complex "Mother/Father". If you're a fan of Gira you'll enjoy this release. Akron/Family helps him break new ground and sound fresh. AF themselves you feel will go on to further great things.