Akron/Family: Meek Warrior

Meek Warrior
(Young God)

On their second album, Akron/Family show immense growth from their first album of last year in many ways–from the length of the songs to the complex, integrated arrangements and instrumentation. The album opens quite differently than their first, with the loud, sprawling, chaotic noises of “Blessing Force,” full of tribal and psychedelic beats and jazz-like construction. After getting this dionysian energy out of the way, the following songs take us back to the familiar Akron/Family, though the songs here have thicker padding, with multiple layers of vocals, percussion and a wide assortment of noise-makers. The band proclaims they like boats–and despite the comic cover photo of them sitting in a tiny row boat in the middle of a field–nautical and psychedelic qualities persist in painting such a picture in the music. The folkness and primitive growls and beats make Akron/Family’s music less comfortable than your familiar indie rock, but this style strongly appeals to the Western-calibrated ear, too. Meek Warrior ends with a hymn-like bluegrass tune whose reverberating lyrics of “love and space” seem to be more hippie praise than religious prayer. Every note–whether a bombastic explosion, harmonizing vocal or freewheeling movement–combines to create a whole album of distinct Akron/Family vibrations.