Thursday, September 28, 2006
Any of you that are regular readers might remember how taken I was with the Akron/Family back in May this year when I saw them in Barcelona. I'm happy to announce that they are back with a new album 'Meek Warrior' that was released this week on Michael Gira's Young Gods Records, the label has nothing to with the Swiss band of the same name. Since the release in March last year of their debut album the band have been making friends on various stages and at numerous festivals around the world, at the same time they were refining the seven songs that were to become this album in dressing rooms, airport lounges, hotel rooms, tour busses indeed anywhere they they could find the space when inspiration came knocking. The songs were laid down during frantic sessions in the windy city of Chicago, often between two gigs in distant cities. The band were lucky enough to record with one of their hero's the free jazz drummer Hamid Drake who has played with Don Cherry amongst many others. Upon delivering the finished tapes to label boss, Gira, they heard him exclaim how while working themselves almost to death they had also built themselves a new identity that maybe they didn't recognise themselves yet before disappearing to listen again to what he called this special album. The song 'Gone Beyond' he has described as being like a palliative hymn. Various adjectives could be used to describe different parts of the album including wild, elated, meditative, gentle, raging, chaotic, hilarious, this short list is by no means exhaustive though I hope you understand the wide range of emotions displayed through it's 35 minute length. For the moment my preferred track is 'The Rider (Dolphin Song)' with it's heavy guitar riffs it conjures up images of the Beatles experimenting with eastern sounds, it is also the song that reminds me the most of the live experience. It is nice to see that the album is starting to stir up some interest for the band in the UK, where maybe they have hit the nail on the head as Meek Warrior has already found itself favourable compared to Led Zeppelin with a the mix of folk and hard rock as pioneered by the band back in the seventies. As for the future, Akron/Family are back on the road with up and coming dates in Canada, and promise a new album for early 2007, I for one already can't wait and am keeping my fingers crossed that I might see them in a venue soon in the south of France, and if they don't know where to play they can always drop me a line!