Akron/Family | Review | Kyle Undem

Meek Warrior is a testament to their commitment to continue to push their so-called "weird" envelope

October 11th 2006,

"Meek Warrior" (CD)
Label: Young God

Surely the Akron/Family could write a relatively straightforward record and be hailed as some of the best folkies in the modern day indie rock world.  Really, they could. They have all the key components to create such a record. But, they're not going to. To this, we give thanks ­ to God or some other higher power - regardless, we give thanks.  Meek Warrior is a testament to their commitment to continue to push their so-called "weird" envelope, which has dutifully been tagged on them over the past year or so, to brand new levels/heights/echelons. And it is a complete success.

Beginning with possibly their most daring track yet, the nine-plus minute "Blessing Force" rambles, roll, and rants through its entirety, expanding on this quartet's already impressive back catalogue. It literally sounds like 15 tracks compressed into one giant collage of noise, complete with odd time signatures, vocal parts, and a really fucked up sounding horn towards the end. It almost has a trance-like quality and while it isn't the most ideal opener to a record, it definitely sets the stage for a new era of all things Akron/Family.

From here, things calm down a bit and it is a much needed break after the expansive opener. "Gone Beyond" gently glides by with a stunning finger-picked guitar line, inventive percussion, and the well-sung lyrics "gone, gone, gone beyond / gone completely beyond" repeating over and over until the track fades into the title track, which proves to be another fine attempt at their indie folk eccentricity.

One of the finest aspects of Akron/Family is how collaborative they are. They truly seem like "ahem" a family, as they each bring separate ideas/songs to the table, which is then fleshed out to their full capacity by the other members. It's as if you can hear each song's shell before the additions were tacked on and studio tricks were implemented ­the beauty of any strictly untainted folk song.

Meek Warrior comes to a close with its most abundant track, "Love and Space," which is easily one of the best songs this young band has constructed. An almost all a capella track, the vocals are as absolutely hauntingly incredible as the simple lyrical melody. It is a true gem and an ideal way to close this all-too-short, seven-track album.

While Meek Warrior is a tinge on the short side, the length is its only major fault. This record will not bring disappointment if anything Akron/Family have created thus far has gotten you a wee bit excited. In fact, it will make you all the more excited about them; especially if you're lucky enough to catch them in a live setting. Highly recommended.


Review written on 2006/10/11 by Kyle Undem