I haven’t had this much fun with a record in a long time. Akron/Family take experimental folk to the next level (which is actually the more accessible level) on S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. I would say it could soundtrack a film, and Where The Wild Things Are cliché-edly comes to mind, but S/T II is its own movie. The album is nothing less than you would expect from its title, and perhaps even more.
On its epic excursion, the album twists and turns and smokes and burns…and then becomes a lullabye. The closing three songs – “Fuji II (Single Pane),” “Canopy” and “Creator” – drift off into quieter places, bracing us for the final goodbye. Seth Olinsky’s vocals pace themselves in the breezy, tranquil world of sound, hitting the ear drums in a sensitive spot. Which is entirely necessary after the first two thirds of the album, which are an absolute riot. Heavy bass, crunchy guitars, wild synth, and tribal-esque yelps and harmonies (especially on “Another Sky” and “Silly Bears”) define most of S/T II.
All the while, the album capably maintains a steady flow from song to song, despite everything going on and the ultimate shift in tone. Akron/Family have created a record of prodigious proportions, and not only in name or number of tracks (13). S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT consistently shines in a way few genre-bending albums (well, at least albums that try to be genre-bending) tend to do. My attentiveness never waxes or wanes; I applaud Akron/Family for making such a fantastical album work.
Akron/Family – “So It Goes” [MP3] (Side note: doesn’t the end of this song sound like Anathallo?)
Purchase S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT via Dead Oceans.