Love Is Simple (VINYL)
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Long awaited new full length this New York four piece; this album was recorded with Andrew Weiss (Rollins / Ween) and really does capture the sonic diversity and power of the Akron / Family live experience which is one of the greatest live experiences around right now. Unrelated reference points for the melting pot are The Band, The Hollies, The Butthole Surfers, Pink Floyd (pre-'Dark side of the moon'), Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead; Akron / Family create an almost perfect four-piece sound. They wield a potent psychedelic rock that careens with full force from almost gospel chanting mantras to wigged out free rock, and still encompassing a warming melodic pop glow throughout.
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This album is so good that I've given up writing reviews. I've given up reading reviews. I've sold my belongings, wrapped up provisions for a week in a bandana, placed it on the end of a stick and am now wandering around the railroad tracks listening to my ipod.
It's not like their other albums. There's more danger in it. And more blessing force, happily or impossibly.
The bonus DVD has some excellent performances as well, though the sound quality may limit its appeal to fans already familiar with their material.
Today's concert at Castle Clinton in NYC was typical but had me worried that maybe A/F is veering too far in the "wall of noise" sub-genre they shift into when they're not doing the quirky, quietly conceptual melodies that I prefer. I hope the band doesn't jettison the meditative and TUNEFUL style that drew me to them in favor of this overpowering and less interesting manifestation. I felt like I was being acoustically bludgeoned at today's concert and was extremely glad I brought earplugs...
However, "Pony's OG" is a Kinks-like masterpiece, and "Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead" reminds me, in a way, of Sun Ra's "It's After the End of the World".