Saturday, April 26, 2008

Akron/Family – Love is Simple (Young God, 2007)

Fans of experimental or psychedelic rock 'n' roll will have a field day with this interesting record. Multi instrumentalists Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky, and Miles Seaton make up the core of the band with lots of help to create a rich and diverse sound. After extolling the virtues of love in the opening invocation, the band moves on to the centerpiece of the record, jumping into Sun Ra territory with “Ed Is a Portal” apparently a science fiction epic about a man who is a gateway to other dimensions and universes. A cacophony of strummed guitars, stuttering percussion and chanting vocals takes this song into the stratosphere. Although the band occasionally seems like they are about to fly off into the aether, they manage to hold it together with a fun and memorable performance. The trippy and hymn-like “Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead” follows, leading into the twisted Zappa-esque pop of “I've Got Some Friends”. The Blake-ian psychedelica of “There's so Many Colors” is a navel-gazing lament, open ended between group vocal sections and instrumental improvisation. This album is an interesting mix of pop, psych and hippie revival meeting, and should appeal to those who have an open ended view of rock 'n' roll music.

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