Akron/Family’s 6th studio album ‘Sub Verses’ melds together various genres to create what could be described as Animal Collective and Mumford & Son’s lovechild. The distinct sound that Akron/Family have established in their career has been utilized to great effect on their latest record. ‘Sub Verses’ covers many different genres which help to present a large range of emotions prevalent in the various songs. It is a confusing yet interesting musical experience, with various styles and tones coming out in the tracks. There seems to be no distinct style to the album, giving the whole overall album a lot of diversity which shows off the vast creativity of the band.
‘Sub Verses’ is arguably one of Akron/Family’s strongest records to date. I’ve felt that on their previous albums, their distinct style is at times highly confusing, and thus makes their albums a struggle to listen to as whole albums. It seems though that all their efforts on ‘Sub Verses’ has paid off to make an album that is as diverse and at times, crazy, as their previous efforts, but at the same time flows incredibly well as an album experience. ‘Sub Verses’ contains some of Akron/Family’s best songs to date, featuring wonderful instrumentals combined with the distinct vocal styles. Even with the unconventional style of Akron/Family, the album flows well, with there being good dynamics in each of the song so that nothing becomes to jarring on the album. It is impressive, and keeps ‘Sub Verses’ not only an interesting album, but perhaps arguably one of their best albums to date.
Akron/Family have many strengths, but I find their fusion of genres, which includes elements of folk and perhaps psychedelic rock, is perhaps at times a little jarring, making their albums a little zany and crazy. It is in some sense, inaccessible music, as it is music that isn’t what could be considered as ‘normal’. If anything, it makes their music interesting, and in a certain sense, a little more unique which helps give the band their appeal. However, it does mean their albums sound at times a little odd, and it takes a bit more time to perhaps truly appreciate the qualities of their music. I’ve found on their previous albums that only a handful of songs are really all that listenable, with their albums being okay at best, but not the easiest listening experience. To an extent, some people may find this on ‘Sub Verses’, but I’d argue that this is perhaps their most comfortable, even if it does contain every nuance that is typical of Akron/Family.
‘Sub Verses’ is an enjoyable album, even if it is a little crazy and unpredictable at times. There’s a great shift in dynamics, with tracks going from soft quiet movements into big crashing crescendos of chaos and madness. It isn’t music that is for everyone, but it is at the very least, music that is that little bit different. There’s a lot of appeal from a band like Akron/Family, and it seems that everything they’ve done on their previous albums has been worked upon to make what is arguably their best work. It just seems that ‘Sub Verses’ is an album that is easily listenable, even in their crazy style. It is certainly fun, and features some of their best songs so far.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Until The Morning
- When I Was Young
Akron/Family’s ‘Sub Verses’ is out now, and can be streamed on Spotify.