Rhythm & Views

Angels of Light & Akron/Family

Throughout the seven songs on the record that are exclusively Akron/Family, all four members of the New York City ensemble sing nearly every line as the guitars and various other instruments create a psychedelic mood. The vocal harmonies on "Awake" are reminiscent of the Beatles' "Because"--meditative, three-part harmonies swirl around slowly plucked guitar strings. But then the opening cacophony of "Moment" hits with distorted guitars, quick high-pitched notes and cymbals crashing all over the place, and it's clear that Akron/Family are truly psychedelic rock, fully prepared to stretch their musical sensibilities--and their minds, man--as far as they possibly can.

The voices in "Moment" march into Kinks-style exuberant pop, waving flowers and flags, and the exaltations continue until the cover of Bob Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant," which signifies Akron/Family's role-switch into Michael Gira's backing band, Angels of Light. Gira's songs are more dark country/folk, especially contrasted with Akron/Family's uplifting rock.

Gira's songs, though, are not a total divergence from the sheer joy of Akron/Family's songs. As Akron/Family hints in "Future Myth," something in their execution of their instruments carries over: "Now we sit and share our songs, balls of light we pass along, breathing rhythms through our minds, tiny strands of light that bind."

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