Akron/Family | Review
The Wire | Tom Ridge
expands the restless folk rock soundSept/Oct '06 Issue
Meek Warrior is a short but powerful follow-up to the Akron/Family's self titled debut and split release with Angels Of Light. The strikingly loud opener "Blessing Force" compresses an album's worth of ideas into one song. After an extended intro of pounding percussion and oscillating guitar riffs, the group shifts into revivalist chants and handclaps, then take a plunge into a full on, before playing out to flying cymbals and the frenetic parping of free saxophone. The gentle waltz of "Gone Beyond" reinstates the delicate melodies and careful layering of the debut album. "Meek Warrior" takes a dip into slurred, psychedelic folk and sounds rather too generic, but the loose jamming and chanted harmonies of "No Space In This Realm" and the acoustic langour of "The Lightning Bolt Of Compassion" both spotlight Akron/Family's dynamic combination of communal muscle and deceptively simple songwriting. "The Rider (Dolphin Song)" expands the restless folk rock sound of "Blessing Force" with a complex polyrhythmic base over which the group chants it's mesmerising harmonies. "Love and Space" returns things to basics with a becalmed, hymn-like finish. Meek Warrior lacks the cohesiveness of the group's debut, but as a compressed showcase of Akron/Family's versatility and ambition, it's impressive.