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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Akron/Family
Set Em Wild, Set Em Free
Dead Oceans

Rating: 8/10 ?


July 31, 2009
My favorite song off of Akron/Family's self-titled first album is "Franny/You're Human." Closing the album out, "Franny/You're Human" is a building wave of graceful noise and plaintive vocals that never overpowers and slowly recedes via a mournful pairing of piano and guitar. A few years and a couple albums later the band released Set 'em Wild, Set 'em Free and I can't stop thinking, "What the hell?"

To say that Akron/Family have been branching out over the years is a bit of an understatement. Each subsequent album for this group has had almost nothing in common with its predecessor. In fact, just the songs on Set 'em Wild run the gamut from heavy, intergalactic freakouts to groove-steeped jams to slow-building, quasi-hymns. Quite a change from their earliest incarnation as a "quirky" folk group.

Even though the album may be too erratic to cohere into anything thematic, its eccentricities do an excellent job of keeping it interesting. Akron/Family paint with such broad strokes that they inevitably create some sort of bizarro Americana. It's as if Grand Funk Railroad invented a time machine back in the early 70's, traveled forty years into the future, and soaked up today's freakiest musical peculiarities. Akron/Family: they're a fucking weird American band.

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy

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