Akron/Family – Sub Verses
On seventh album Sub Verses, Akron/Family again manage to sound both formidably outré yet instinctively graspable. No Room is a brooding beast of an opener; a groove-based colossus that stretches itself over the best part of seven minutes, all rippling tom rolls and ever-thickening walls of noise. Way Up follows, its multi-part vocals dancing atop brutish thuds of distortion to create one of the record’s most striking couplings.
Its hard-edged beauty then gracefully collapses into Until the Morning’s soulful psych-folk concoction, which in turn segues to the hectic bustle of Sand Talk – and so on, through still ambience (Sometimes 1), discordant squalls (Holy Boredom) and played-straight doo-wop (When I Was Young). This restlessly contrastive aesthetic delivers bulk brilliance, imaginatively weaving through disparate realms; never so sharply as to shake off those clinging on by fingernails and good faith alone, but vigorously enough to ensure it’s a stimulating journey throughout. [Chris Buckle]