Music » Critics' Picks

Akron/Family

9 p.m. Monday, February 28. The Billiken Club, 20 North Grand Boulevard in the Busch Student Center at Saint Louis University.

by

comment

It takes balls to ignore an entire month of e-mails and texts from your label when it's wondering when exactly your new album is going to surface. Dead Oceans reported on its website that after many missed deadlines, Akron/Family delivered its new album, S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, in a cardbord box, complete with "a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown-out song fragments on a TDK CD-R in a Ziploc bag, three pictures and a typewritten note from Akron/Family." The fifth LP from the New York/Portland stalwarts was written in a cabin on the side of an active volcano in Japan and recorded in an abandoned Detroit train station with producer/engineer Chris Koltay (Liars, No Age, Deerhunter). The band members pieced together "emotional Cagean field recordings" and underground Japanese noise cassettes, carved their own sticks to play '70s electronic drums that they rebuilt by hand. The results are distinctly Akron/Family — that is to say, they're a dizzying array of influences and genres dismantled and reassembled backward, which somehow translates to highly listenable psych-folk. Abstruse mysticism and volcanic cabins aside, Shinju TNT is a joyous offering, though the jury is still out on Koltay's benediction that "this album will transcend the Internet."

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.