Mike Gira (Ex-Swans) has a good track record when it comes to discovering new talent. It was he who brought Devendra Banhart into the collective unconsciousness of the indie world. Now that Devendra has moved on it, he has focused his labels energy to this young Brooklyn band Akron/Family. This is A/F’s second release on Gira’s Young God label, and is quite different from the moody freak folkyness of their self-titled debut. You see Gira took Akron/Family on the road not only as an opening act but also as his backup band for his Angels of Light project. After touring, Gira was so enamored with the performances of the band on the road that he decided to record the whole troupe to make this split CD, half Akron’Family material and half Akron/Family as the Angels of Light with Gira and the head. All tracks recorded live in studio! For Akron/Family think of the angular experimentation of Slint & Gastr Del Sol and mix it with the melodic strength of the Beatles & Pink Floyd. It’s a breathtaking record with large vocals, Floyd-esque song scapes and yes even some chaotic noise. In fact I can’t stop listening to this record, I love it so much. The Angels of Light finds us in a more indie-country realm. Gira’s deep Goth voice and songs lead the way with stellar musicianship. This is a great collaboration and an amazing record with gems all over the place. PLAY PLAY PLAY tHE bAWD oF euphony
1**(2:30) OH fucking A! Moody goodness, White album era Beatles arpeggios, big choral vocal harmonies. Stunning and a STANDOUT TRACK. (Play tracks 1 & 2 in unison!!!)
2**(5:21) Holy shit! Crazy noise explosion into a post-punk-Fugazi groove with big uplifting vocal harmonies. Crosby, Stills, Nash and MacKay!
3*(4:28) Warm guitars and bells. Obscured by Clouds Floyd feel instrumental intro. Acoustic strumming and singing take over. Country rock! “Everyone must get baked”. Alright then!
4**(8:13) Distant shimmering vocals and guitar. Animal Collective? Vocals take over then heavy uplifting rocking ness goes. Triumphant sounding! Great guitar twangyness. Crazy disco ending! Funny
5**(4:36) Yes Moody guitar. Imagine Lennon on Guitar and roger Waters singers. Oh a PHAT fucking heavy Beatles ala “she’s so heavy” rocks out. AWESOME! Another Standout.
6**(3:36) Gentle acoustic guitar and vox start. Moody horns and distant swells. Beautiful and simple.
7**(4:17) Good day sunshine? Holy Ginger Baker/Eric Clapton Cream Batman! Insane riffage. Holy fucking hell this is great! Somebody kill these guys, they’re too good. This gets insane!!! GOSPEL?! Jesus praise us!
ANGELS OF LIGHT
8** (3:57) A Bob Dylan cover. Coasting country goodness. Melodic and beautiful.
9**(6:55) Dark mandolin. Clanky and odd. Synced guitar and vox. Epic and brooding with that Gira “Evil” thing coming feel. Great slow groove comes in. Noisy. A Standout track!
10*(3:01) Pretty strumming and piano. Warm and good. A love song.
11*(2:45) Cool groove. African chanting feel. All percussion and vox.
12**(5:15) Brooding guitar with a Spaghetti Western flava to it. I wanna see Gira in a big black cowboy hat strapped with 2 six shooters singing this one. Crazy guitar drill noise later. Dark and epic. Awesome!