Akron/Family | Review

Rocky Mountain Chronicle | Elliot Johnston

Now, with Meek Warrior, Akron/Family seems poised for still greater heights

Oct '06

Meek Warrior
Young God Records

     During the past year, Akron/Family has been an ace in the hole for the contemporary music nerd. Even when challenged by a crabby avatar of classic rock - who won't grant genius outside of the Stones, Zeppelin or Zappa - the Family's appealing yet completely zoological exuberance has proven a bold retort.  Take "Moment" and "Raising the Sparks" from last year's split with the Angles of Light: the former is stuffed with apocalyptic guitar squalls in between choral yelping and mellowed folk, and the latter builds into a tribal, psychedelic scream-out. No joke: I played "Sparks" for a friend and he fell off the arm of his couch.

      Now, with Meek Warrior, Akron/Family seems poised for still greater heights. The opener, "Blessing Force," clocks in at nine minutes, and for all its kooky giddiness, it feels like an under cooked cousin of "Moment." Its campfire a cappella, heavy, proggy changes and relentless, sax-blurping outro prove more messy than transcendent. The room-spinning thump of "The Rider (Dolphin Song)" is better, but the Family's formerly charming abrasions get a tad grating. The more restrained moments - like the rustic sing-alongs "No Space in this Realm" and the title track - bring the album back on course, if a bit. On Warrior, Akron/Family have clearly maintained their excited creativity and contagious spirit. Maybe they've just let their excitement override their taste.