The grandiose title betrays an even greater (purported) mythology: New York/Portland psych-rockers Akron/Family claim to have written their fifth album in a cabin built into the base of Mount Meakan, an active Japanese volcano. But whether they really trekked to Hokkaido or just decamped in Williamsburg with some 7-Eleven sushi, the record is a ruminant, volatile effort that befits such a lurid legend. Less bucolic than 2009’s Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free, Akron/Family II shifts disquietingly from atonally screamed group chants and acidic guitars (“Fuji 1 (Global Dub)”) to gentle, phosphorescent ballads celebrating nature and light (“Canopy”). The uniting thread is the labyrinthine structure and a tangible sense of adventure.
Listen to “Silly Bears”: