Akron/Family | Review
Each subsequent record finds the scope of the group more vast...from a larger article called TRANCE ROCK SAVED MY LIFE: Kraftwerk's brand of man - machine - music was always a little too tepid for me, where as this stuff has a pleasing mechanical ardor to it. In as much as any outside force can save a person, trance rock has always been the sturdy railing on my rocky mental ship, and given its resurgence everywhere lately, I imagine I am not the only seasick sailor hanging over it to christen the fishes with all else that proved indigestible. Here are a couple records whose skyhooks extend from my iPod to the grinning Katamari Damacy-style Buddha prince chuckling on his Technicolor cloud:
This Brooklyn-based cadre serves as Motivators to me; the fire dance whoop and holler they inject into their play-it-forever psyche rock. They are what would have happened if the Magic Band had staged a mutiny over Captain Beefheart and pointed the Bounty to the sun. Each subsequent record finds the scope of the group more vast, but where this kills most projects, it only serves to make them stronger. The nine minutes of "Blessing Force" is the perfect amalgam of the band starting mid tribal drumbeat, running amok through noise, high classic psychedelia and skronking free jazz, and ending at a hard stop. The rest of the record never hits that peak though.
"Gone Beyond" is comprised mostly of those words and some strident guitar work, while the title track sounds starts out a cult choir is practicing in a wind chime store during an earthquake, devolving into a strident folk ballad. "Lightning Bolt of Compassion" with its canticle guitar work and narcotic croon brings this ship of fools back into the harbor where the hard exoticism of "The Rider (Dolphin Song)" awaits to circle your neck with poisoned lei's and empty your wallets, and then set fire to the dock.
Personally, it's the tracks like this one and the first that show this Family's strengths and you get the feeling that these are mere excerpts from longer jams. Their placid material is nice, often superb, but my wandering eye opens wide to their voodoo freak out. I could listen to a two-hour, continuous descent into sheer madness from this group...