Moroccan Role: New Akron/Family :: <i>Meek Warrior</i>

Moroccan Role

A Totally Kiler Music/MP3 Blog.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Akron/Family :: Meek Warrior

I became a fan of Akron/Family upon first hearing their March 2005 self-titled debut album and their excellent tune "Running, Returning". My interest in the band increased significantly upon hearing their late 2005 split LP with Angels of Light. In fact, I still consider their epic psychedelic freak-out jam "Raising the Sparks" (which appeared on the split LP) to be one of the finest songs of last year. Now, they have a "mini" LP due September 25th on Young God Records and I am even more eager to hear their "proper" follow up to their debut album.

Meek Warrior is 7 track collection which features "very special guest Hamid Drake, as well as contributions from members of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene" and will be sold at a "special low price" (currently $11 on Young God's website). It appears this album is meant to hold-over fans until they finish touring this fall and winter and wrap recording on another new album, to be released early next year on Young God-- this according to Young God Main Man, Micheal Gira.

Though there are a couple of rockers present ("Blessing Force" & "The Rider" (Dolphin Song)), this effort is mostly a subdued and backporch folk affair. Opener, the aforementioned "Blessing Force" has its moments, but ultimately never quite gets off the ground and this 9-and-a-half minute behemoth comes to an end with 2 minutes+ of nearly unlistenable noise. (See also, Pitchfork's track review) The other rocker, "The Rider" (Dolphin Song), suffers a similar fate-- a good melody and guitar lick that are spread too thin over its 7 minute plus run-time and, as the lyrics suggest, the track seems to have "no destination" in mind.

The folk numbers fare much better and have a distinctly Winterish vibe. "Gone Beyond" features simple, yet catchy acoustic guitar figures, minimal percussion, and its one line, "Gone, gone, gone beyond/ gone completely beyond", provides the most memorable vocal melody on the record. The title track is another highlight and finds the guys seemingly at their most comfortable. "Meek Warrior" is a whimsical folk-pop song showcasing acoustic guitar, mandolin, handclaps, and some fine vocal harmonies. Things come to a close nicely with "Love and Space"-- which features barely audible single guitar strums and fine (at least 3 part) southern gospel vocal harmonies.

Meek Warrior was most likely intended to be a gift to tide over fans until their new full-length arrives and as a vehicle to allow these guys to continue their neverending tour itinerary. It is modest effort and probably should not be viewed as a proper album. This collection ultimately serves to make what the more savvy among you already knew even more clear-- Akron/Family are an incredibly exciting young band and potentially a force to be reckoned with. Whether they revert to the more folkish material of their debut and featured prominently on this effort or decide to crank up the electrics ala "Raising the Sparks" and "Moment" on the split LP, provided they remain focused and trim the fat seen on the two rockers on Meek Warrior, these guys can go virtually anywhere from here.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Gone Beyond", "Meek Warrior", "Love and Space"

MP3: Akron/Family - "Gone Beyond"

Buy the album here.


Blogger abramson said...

I saw the in Barcelona in May this year and they totally blew me away, one of the best new bands I've seen recently and they enjoy themselves on stage!

2:37 PM  

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