Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
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- Released: May 5, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Dead Oceans
Spin - p.84"Here they expand their primarily folky sound, importing rhythms from abroad and morphing electronic ticks and stutters into a field of chirping crickets."
CMJ"This collection of anti-'Kumbaya' campfire choruses and folk-inspired torch songs could raise the dead with its entrancing, cacophonous sound..."
Blender (Magazine)4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his album takes major steps beyond its predecessor, LOVE IS SIMPLE. It adds a streak of joyful African funk, with sputtery rhythms and guitar curlicues."
Pitchfork (Website) - "Opener 'Everyone is Guilty' skips groove in favor of skronk, employing a hard, scat-worth verse vocal and billowing, aggressive guitar breaks."
Signal To Noise (magazine) (p.47) - "[S]ome of the strongest statements are the simplest ones; 'Set 'Em Free's' rustic country vibe may be something they can do in their sleep, but its conciliatory sentiments are a welcome reassurance..."
- 1.Everyone Is Guilty
- 4.The Alps & Their Orange Evergreen
- 5.Set 'Em Free, Pt. 1
- 6.Gravelly Mountains of the Moon
- 7.Many Ghosts
- 9.They Will Appear
- 10.Sun Will Shine [Warmth of the Sunship Version]
- 11.Last Year
Personnel: Jannina Barefield (violin); Chris Loxley (cello); Nic Cowles (flute); Michael Kammers (tenor saxophone); Jon Natchez (baritone saxophone); Joe Beaty (trombone); Loretta Lucas, Chris Koltay, Julie Lucas, Julie Lucas (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chris Koltay.
Recording information: High Bias Recordings, Detroit, MI; Petite Eglise, Farnham, Quebec, Canada; Trout Recording, Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer: Clint Baclawski.
Arranger: Michael Kammers.
Most reviews for SET 'EM WILD steer clear of stock comparisons, and rightfully so. Akron/Family's first record for Dead Oceans is a wildly versatile affair, led by Seth Olinksy's lucid guitar playing and an increasingly tribal percussive backbone, both of which provide a languidly psychedelic aspect to Akron's mish-mash of indie rock, alt-country, free jazz, and avant-noise. While the mid-section's understated folk tamps down the sensory overload that punctuates openers "Everyone Is Guilty" and "River," it's gratifying when they return to their freakout impulses on "Mbf," which paves the way for the stunning harmonica-cum-feedback coup de grace, "They Will Appear."
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