Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

http://www.deadoceans.com http://www.konkurrent.nl

Incendiary have always held a torch for Akron/Family. Whilst nothing is going to dislodge the spectacular Love is Simple from the top spot for us, this is another fine addition to a pretty stellar canon of work. A quick word on other matters at this point; we can’t decipher the LP’s title, and to be honest whatever benefit there is in such a task can be left to the eager human information aggregating machines elsewhere on the web…

This record, which does sadly have a few patchy and flat moments, starts off at some lick. Silly Bears is a rumbustious six minute thrash which balances the absurdity of singing about a conversation between to bears and the brain crushing stampede of sound that the band whip up. They are a band that can “do” goofy more effectively than any band I can think of.  The elegiac Island lets the steam generated dissipate quite beautifully with the aid of some slide guitar. It’s a very fine beginning.  AAA O A A WAY isn’t really around long enough to be more than an introduction to So It Goes, which is a gloopy stumble aided by some sludgy glam beats  before petering out tamely. It’s got something of the dislocated focus of a Camper Van Beethoven track about it. Pulses are raised, almost to “Silly Bear level” with the fuzzy, growly campfire sing-along of Another Sky which initially threatens to shoot of into the stratosphere. The bands songs often conjure up images of everyone sitting in a circle, singing and yowling along. Maybe they do…   Light Emerges is a marvellously steady stomp that acts as a bookend to the first part of the record.

After this things get looser: Cast a Net is a very soft song that gets a wee bit lost after all the commotion of the first six tracks, but listened to in isolation it’s a fair enough song. Tatsuya Neon Purple Valley is a mere insect infested interlude, a prelude for the patient stomp of Fuji (Global Dub) which does actually sound like a party ascending a mountain. A parody of a cod Far-Eastern melody suddenly explodes into a swirl of crashing guitars and sadly stops, (OK, blows up) just as things start to get interesting. Shame. Say What You Want To is another druggy campfire thrash-about, albeit one that twists and turns like a March wind. Fuji II is a soundscape which threatened to be so much more engaging as it morphed into a beautiful acoustic monologue, which then suddenly runs into Canopy; again a shame that the song couldn’t be further developed. Canopy is an acoustic piece that doesn’t really go anywhere. Matters are saved by the dreamy track, Creator, which employs that slide guitar sound that shapes so much of their music. It’s a nice ending and gives shape and closure to some of the ill-defined moments that have preceded it.

Reservations about the structure and the bitty nature of the second part of the record aside, this is the usual cornucopia of ideas noises and tunes then. A fine band, and another fine record.