Akron/Family are more of a tribe than a band. It is evident in the manic drumming and otherworldly chants that emerge from the ether on each release. So it has been, and so it goes with Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT which marks the third in a string of inventive releases which confuse and delight through eccentricity.
From the left-of-center press notes for the newest release – detailing a mysterious box, a “poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces,” and the band’s “sound through Bent Acid Punk Diamond fuzz and Underground Japanese noise cassettes” – it is obvious that the only sensible step to take is to simply listen to the music. From the drum-and-chant prelude of “Silly Bears,” the band’s penchant for wild psychedelia becomes three-dimensional, attacking in waves of fuzzy bass, quirky guitar, and roars of distortion that are tempered by even, multi-part haromonies. These waves of intensity rule the album, pulsing through peaks like “So It Goes,” “Another Sky,” and “Fuji I (Global Dub),” and receding into wayward creeks on the temperate “Island,” “Cast a Net,” and “Canopy.”
Despite Akron/Family’s cloak of mystery, Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT serves as another solid studio effort. But for a band that pumps out frenetic energy and unkempt originality like most of its contemporaries churn out guitar riffs, “solid” is a handsome designation.