Angels of Light & Akron/Family | Review
www.scrammagazine.com | Margaret Griffis
a collage of world, folk and skronk sounds presented in an acid-washed, often hillbilly grooveJune/'06
The last thing I'd ever expect to write about a Michael Gira record is "imagine a great Beatles record" and yet: imagine a great Beatles record! Okay, so the aforementioned Merseydelia might be heavier on the Akron/Family side of the split, but even taking that out, Gira is still left with the same backing band. (The first seven songs are theirs; the last five are A/F with Gira.) The Liverpudlians aren't the only classic rockers to make an appearance. The Stones, Beach Boys, Amon Düül II, Japan and Lou Reed stumble through--there's even a Dylan cover--a collage of world, folk and skronk sounds presented in an acid-washed, often hillbilly groove. The lessons of the last forty years of rock have been learned, but don't make the mistake of believing this is easily-accessible radio fodder or a platter bereft of noisier elements. It's a mature offering with engaging soundscapes and lyrics that merit deeper investigation. Perhaps, Akron/Family are to blame or laud for what at first might seem incongruous to fans of the heavier Swans or lighter Angels of Light releases, but this unrelated foursome of noodly multi- instrumentalists provide an exquisite soapbox from which Gira can quietly scream his dreams. Imagine Gira as Dorothy reaching Oz to discover kooky chums wrapped in infinite colors, then realizing that Oz is home. The clean production does wonders, adding an immediacy and intimacy that previous albums never quite got. It'll be interesting to see where the yellow brick road takes them from here.