Music News

Akron/Family

When it comes to Akron/Family, expect the unexpected. The group boasts not one, not two, but three multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters: Dana Janssen (who took part in a Q&A accessible at blogs.westword.com/backbeat), Seth Olinsky and Miles Seaton. Moreover, each member of the trio is so naturally eclectic that the tuneage on their latest album, Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, is impossible to pin down. The opener, "Everyone Is Guilty," mashes together African rhythms and Beefheartian guitar skronk; "Creatures" blends art rock, psychedelia and drum-and-bass influences; "The Alps & Their Orange Evergreen" explores a gentle folk soundscape; and "Gravelly Mountains of the Moon" starts off in a pastoral mood before exploding at its midpoint into an ecstatic mélange of thunderous drumming, massed harmonies, twisted declarations and woozy brass. The results are widely varied as a result, but the mutability of the material constitutes an attribute, not a deficit. This is one Family that'll keep you guessing.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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