Akron / Family
Although tangentially associated with the US freak folk movement, the Brooklyn, New York City-based Akron/Family combines acoustic-orientated ballads, psychedelic freakouts, post rock jams, and free-form storms of sound to create something akin to a twenty-first century Grateful Dead. (Their communal peace/love vibe and hirsute qualities do not hurt in this respect either). Formed in 2002 by Seth Olinsky (vocals/guitar), Miles Seaton (vocals/bass), Ryan Vanderhoof (vocals/guitar) and Dana Janssen (vocals/drums), the quartet released their self-titled debut on erstwhile Swans frontman Michael Giras Young God label in 2005. It sported a sound centered on complex vocal harmonies, whisper-to-a-scream dynamics, and a balance between carefully crafted composition and near-telepathic group improvisation. Onstage was where the bands music truly came to life, their energetic, interactive approach to performance making each show feel more like a...