Sunday, August 19, 2007
Akron/Family - Love Is Simple
When I saw that the first and last songs on this were both called "Love, Love, Love," I got a bit worried. Was this going to just be a bunch of hippy crap? Meek Warrior tracks like "Gone Beyond" and "Love & Space" and "Dolphin Song," blown up to full-length proportions? God, I hoped not.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what Love Is Simple is. Meek Warrior wasn't really intended to be an "album," but instead a "mini-album" of sorts, a stopgap between Ak Ak's phenomenal '05 output and wherever the fuck their future is about to take them. Well, we're here. And man, this is definitely not the preferred direction that I wanted to see these guys move in!
See, their self-titled record contains some of my absolute favorite music of 2005, and some of the most beautiful, affecting music I've ever had the pleasure to experience. Despite the collective, "indie freak folk" vibe the album seemed to give off, the music was really just extremely intimate, very personal shit. There were moments of absolute transcendence, the ultimate realization of what this kind of communal hippy shit tries so hard to achieve. Lyrically, too... just lovely stuff. It achieves a kind of beauty for me that something like Sufjan's "Predatory Wasp of the Palisades" does for a lot of other listeners.
The split with Angels of Light was a whole different sort of monster. "Raising The Sparks" and "Moment" were absolutely fucking insane... noisy, proggy, and possessed with such a FIERY sort of energy, to the point where your brain just fucking leaps out of your skull out of sheer excitement. Hell, the rest of the songs weren't too bad, either! Hippyish, yeah. Their music certainly doesn't hide the fact that these guys have great big bushy beards. But there was this sort of beautiful youthful exuberance in the music that made you think, "Oh, wow, these young people are seriously talented and could probably do ANYTHING if they wanted to! I mean, shit!"
Meek Warrior was nice as a "stopgap," yes. Short, only 35 minutes or so. Quite a departure from their debut's very "ambitious full length"-ish hour long running time. It's a slight album. They sounded like they had fun pulling songs out of their ass, shitting out ridiculous multipart free jazz influenced smelly hippy freakouts, collectively belting choruses like "RIIIIIIIDE, DOLPHIIIIIN, RIIIIIIIIDE!!!!!!!," and nodding toward a campfire evoking Dead concert closer like "And We Bid You Goodnight" with "Love & Space."
And so now we have Love Is Simple, which is basically more of the Meek Warrior hippy shit, but stretched out to nearly an hour. Nothing here has the substance of the debut, and none of it rocks as hard as the highlights of the AoL split. They sound like they're having fun being smelly hippies and worshipping the sun and finding enlightenment through delicious marijuana drugs. They sound like they are all for love and peace. And hey, love and peace! Great! But man, this certainly isn't a progression of any sort. It's pretty much the same thing they were doing on Split LP tracks like "Future Myth," but with a lot more of Meek Warrior's lightheaded lolness. They still have those nice group vocals, though! I'm seeing them next month, yeah. I hope they just make noise and piss in their own mouths like the Black Lips.
Rating: Some okay melodies, I suppose. Feels a bit by-numbers, though. I don't know about this sort of stuff working for a full album. I mean, the "love, love, love" shit is great on a 35 minute mini-album, but man, when your debut is as multi-dimensional and affecting as Akron/Family managed to be... this kind of crap seems a bit effortless in comparison. I said all this in my Meek Warrior review a long time ago, remember? I still enjoy this album to some extent (nice melodies here and there) and am super glad that they make music and release said music often. They seem to have exhausted a lot of aspects of their sound and overall appproach over the course of only two years, so seeing where they travel to next is certainly something that I greatly anticipate! So go, Akron/Family! Seize the day! It is yours! So put out a better album next time, you fucking asshole bearded cunt fags. Fuck you.
Song: Disco Inferno - The Five EP's... incredible.