The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
Here’s a confident band—one not afraid to layer abrasive textures, one unashamed of palpable psychedelic-blues-folk references, one having obvious fun.
On Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey, things seem to congeal. There’s a certain flavor that runs its course throughout, although each track stands alone as some sort of anthem to youth and that untouchable, unmatchable, emotion of being carefree.
The imagination here instantly grabs and shakes, unwilling to let go. No more is Akron/Family dependent on soft, acoustic arrangements. The gaps and expanses The Cosmic Birth fills could span canyon-sized holes. The air in the mix leaves room enough to believe.
And yet there’s a simplicity to the creativity—to the madness. The harmonies recall late-night campfires. But there’s romp; there’s fanfare. The album pushes elders aside and calls its friends into the room. Maturity takes a backseat, yet somehow acts as a non-annoying entity; the band’s craft came from some tenure, evidently.
It’s refreshing to hear, feel, and see a band thinking in album terms. The songs reach beyond themselves far enough to hint at their followers, and none seems too intent on calling much attention. “So It Goes” immediately clutches an audience’s throat with heavy hooks and unapologetic symphony. “Silly Bears” uses hard beats and crunch. “Another Sky” employs otherworldly tones and half-moans.
And yet they mesh. Everything interlocks.
The latter half of the band’s name sticks this time around. It’s a give-and-take experience, so join in. Welcome.
Listen to "So It Goes":