Wednesday, 20 May 2009



Over the course of “Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free” the Akron/Family manage to execute an exuberant mish mash of classic left field joints whilst making their spontaneous and schizophrenic sound very much a flavour of their own.

With “Everyone Is Guilty” starting off the show it bounces in sounding like some euphoric combination of Tortoise and Battles before the vocals and accusations that come with kick in the audience’s experience and adds an element of unease.

In addition to being very creative and playful musically the songwriting lyrically is also very emotionally explicit not necessarily accompanied with a smile.

The album (and band) is something of a two headed monster. It is in the moments that record descends too far down into folk/country territory that holds the collection back, folk/country being a sound/genre that is seldom able to lift itself out of cliché and cheese.

As my life continues to turn into a surreal shell of its former existence the more whimsical moments of this record such as “Many Ghosts” helps the Akron Family to provide a kind of twisted Disney breakdown score to proceedings.

Away from the noisefest of “MBF” the stand out track on the album for me is “Creatures.” Opening as if sounding like an almost acoustic take on drum and bass it couples with Dr Seuss nursery rhyme type lyrics of affection to provide a perfect backdrop to feeling young. By the time the song reaches the chorus the wind instruments have made a cameo appearance and a light feel dominates proceedings and a person listening can only begin to feel mesmerised as they fall in love with the process at the exact point the “up and down, down down down” mini mantra kicks in. Right now the sun is shining for a reason.

A rare and a good thing this is an indie rock album that sounds like attendance at a campfire.

Thesaurus moment: milieu.

Crammed Discs
Dead Oceans

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