Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
(05.2009, Dead Oceans)
Verdict: It's realllllly grood.
The Akron trio's influences run deep. I have read reviews citing Akron/Family's influences as Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and The Grateful Dead. Those three don't really seem to mix to me. I guess I can see where those comparisons might be made, but overall Akron/Family is it's own beast, and always has been. What's great is that every album they produce is also it's own beast, bridging new sounds and vast experimentation on their sounds while still holding onto a distinct Akron/Fam feel. Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free has new play with looping, especially on the track "Creatures," which is possibly my least favorite track. The Family is much better at yelling and causing a ruckus than crooning and I have a major beef with "Creatures" harmonic last half because it sounds exactly like the Avett Brothers harmonies, and I HATE the Avett Brothers. My favorite tracks are the more wild ones such as opener "Everyone is Guilty," but the slower moments hold the album together into a seamless cohesive album that is full of diversity and very pleasurable to the ears. Other than the brief Avett moment, this album is killer. There are a lot of haters floating around, but I say don't listen, they just don't like artist evolution. Set 'Em Wild comes highly recommended by yours truly.
Here's a really stupid music video for title track "Set 'Em Free"