Upon returning from an extended tour together, Michael Gira’s Angels of Light and Akron/Family — actually one and the same band, at this point – took to the studio and banged out this album in just nine days. Listeners unfamiliar with Akron/Family’s own music will quickly realize that the band is a very different kind of beast when not backing Gira; their portion of the record mulls over a spidery, ruminative chord progression of the sort you’d be unlikely to hear from Angels of Light; the next song, “Moment,” begins with an unbridled explosion of free-improv noise freakout whose energy is the antithesis of Gira’s brand of controlled chaos. Like a vagabond Grizzly Bear on uppers, they dedicate their half of the record to an exuberant strain of psych-rock, what Gira called “Beatles meets Beefheart backwoods midnight incantation.” On Gira’s side, he picks up the old-timey baton for uncharacteristically rootsy songs like “I Pity the Poor Immigrant,” a country-blues number in which he assumes the mantle of Woody Guthrie — however unlikely that might sound. The best of his batch might be “Mother/Father,” a ragged mantra for whooping, multi-part vocal harmonies and dangerously syncopated toms.
By Philip Sherburne on 11.28.12 in Icons
When Swans released their album The Seer in 2012, it was cause for celebration on several counts. For one thing, no one had ever expected them to return after they disbanded in 1997, so their comeback two years prior was...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.22.14 in Galleries
Wondering Sound's staff picks the year's best albums.
By Andrew Parks on 11.11.14 in News
Believe it or not, Swans just sparked the sixth leg of their worldwide To Be Kind tour, and they're showing no signs of slowing down in 2015. As reported in a press release earlier today, Michael Gira's merry madmen just...
By Andrew Parks on 09.17.14 in News
As TV on the Radio get set to release their first album in four years on November 18, co-founder/producer Dave Sitek has revealed his latest business venture. Much like his Federal Prism label, the ACME Creative Group is...