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Akron-Family has a style all their own

Levon Kinney


Straight from the madness of touring life, Akron/Family brings together all the elements that make these four musicians a group on their latest release, "Meek Warrior." From the first nine minutes to the last three, there are few patterns that one can find to tie all of the songs together.

"Blessing Force," brings a musical motif so strange that even the most open minded listener will be at first puzzled. A fast paced drum beat starts the song off only to give way to an acapella influenced verse of the songs title then slipping into a style reminiscent of African Folk music. It transverses into an electric jam melting into a free formed jazz piece, the polyphonic sound-scape provides no escape from the maddening musical minds of Akron/Family.

Just as the listener cannot take anymore insanity the album turns a sharp corner into "Gone Beyond," an acoustically driven piece that has a foggy morning tone to it.

"Meek Warrior," the title track spins a whimsical melody that bounces the listener with a rolling folky beat. Each verse is a poetic jaunt into the psyche of a not so glorious warrior.

An enchanting and psychedelic world is created in the midst of "No Space in this Realm," starting with an acoustic whine while slowly adding layers with sounds from the world music genre. Rhythmic drumming with hints of Africa, stringed instruments that have a distinct Middle Eastern flare and horns added at the end for an Americanafied Jazz harmony.

The motion created in the rhythms and sounds of "The Rider (Dolphin Song)" is choppy enough to give a weak stomach a case of motion sickness. The dolphin takes on a magestical role as king of the ocean as he glides through the rough waters and jumps through the air.

Akron/Family have an interesting way of creating a solid form and then abandoning it to spiral into chaotic madness, after several seconds they turn this into a new rhythm and go about the song as if nothing had happened.

The album exits with a soulful modern styled hymn, "Love and Space." The harmonizing could use a little work when different band members trade off on the chorus and verse. Over all their effort to pull together an album as eclectic yet comprehendible while leading a chaotic touring schedule should speak to the masses of a band that has serious ambition and drive to perform a multi-genre'd style of music that is all their own.