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

Let’s all rejoice as Akron/Family have returned with their new folky, prog-rock opus S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (doesn’t get more prog than that does it?) This is the band's fifth album, and it sees them continuing the trend of their previous full-lengths, melding experimental rock, noise and all manner of other bizarre influences into a record which is first and foremost a whole heap of fun.

Taking classic-rock riffs and choral electronics, ‘Silly Bears’ begins the album in a shower of bright and playful melody; the bands trademark vocal harmonies shining through. ‘Island’ slows things down a tad with gliding ambience and a summery delicacy to the whispered vocals and guitars. First single ‘So It Goes’'s big juddering riffs mark it out as the most conventional song of the lot but doesn’t suffer for it, and is a huge contrast to the dense, fuzzy and rather wonderful noise of ‘Another Sky’.

As with previous album Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free, they seem to have become more focussed on how the song is crafted, each individual track being a miniature and concentrated journey into a particular facet of the group's sound. ‘Light Emerges’ has a more tropical air to its folky electronic soundscapes, while the lulling ‘Canopy’ brings out downbeat and simple guitars and a sprinkling of piano for one of the few sad moments of the record.

Having transcended the weirdo-folk roots the band started out in, Akron/Family seem to have grown into an altogether more magical beast that progresses and morphs with each subsequent album. Long may the magic continue!

Overall

8

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 13:02:27

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