Selected Press Quotes....
"So take that progression -- from folk to haze to psych-rock -- and apply the calculus correctly, and you'll arrive at the joyous, rambucntious vibe of "Set 'Em Wild." The record feels at times like a primer in nu-Deadism: the jazzy progressions; the swirling, sprawling tempests of song; and the bridges, packed tight with jittery improvisation. But there are also moments of surprisingly lush beauty: the stacked vocal rounds of "River" or the stripped-down hymn "Sun Will Shine." -- Boston Globe
"Only once you stop trying to figure out what category this album might fit into can you truly discover and appreciate the sound Akron/Family creates." -- Dawn Mauberret, Bust
"Alternating between pastoral acoustic contemplations and percussion-heavy noise anthems, Akron/Family tries to shake the unshakeable with a heavy dose of musical Icy Hot." -- The FADER
"The songs have grooves and set pieces like inlaid jewels -- twinkling Malian-sounding guitar in "They Will Appear," a dub bass line in "Creatures," Afrobeat in "Everyone Is Guilty" -- and elsewhere metal riffs, sprays of folk fingerpicking, sophisticated patches of writing
for brass, aggressive swirling noise. But these elements are part of larger coherent canvases, and the band's musicianship (and that of its 10 invited guests) has caught up with its ideas. . . The segues between styles -- especially in "Everyone Is Guilty" and "Gravelly
Mountains of the Moon" -- are sometimes astonishing." -- Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
"Set ’Em Wild, Set ’Em Free is smart and psychotic, almost refreshing to a fault and showcases a band that has no comfort zone." -- Louisville Eccentric Observer
"Imaginatively produced, deeply textured rock with folk, psychedelic, and numerous other influences. The more you listen, the more you like." -- Electronic Musician
"Chances are that, a couple of years from now, punters will look back at Akron/Family's Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free as the transitional album in the band's catalog. . . One song might feature acoustic balladry while another would be a full-on rock fest, while another would be a tribal workout and another might have some post-prog overtones. On Set
'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, the ideas are even less conceptual but more satisfying and more focused in songwriting and production." -- All Music
"There's something universal and humanizing at their core. And it's not just their words but the continent, genre and time hopping threads woven into their hyper-thick, always intriguing music. In Akron/Family we find the meeting places, the joins between '60s freedom jazz and
greasy blues, classic rock and church songs, folk and freakout. They are the children of Coltrane and Guthrie, Pigpen and Holger Czukay, folks labeled experimenters and outsiders who were in fact great uniters. Akron/Family is well on their way to joining the hushed reverence these names and those like them enjoy, and the bald face
proof of that resides in Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, their first but surely not their last masterpiece." -- Dennis Cook, Jambase
Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
Opening with a groove unlike anything Akron/Family have ever laid to tape, the first track on Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free kicks off a new chapter for the band. The percussive thunder and anthemic electric guitars of "Everyone is Guilty" make a bold statement, touching on everything from Fela Kuti to Sly and the Family Stone in under six psychedelic minutes.
This is not the Akron/Family you think you know. As "Everyone is Guilty" fades into "River" the band returns to something they have always been known for: writing a timeless hook. "River" delivers Ali Farka Toure-like guitar work, but this song is all about the infectious vocal melody. As the album unfolds, Akron/Family's musical explorations are virtually without limits.
Whether it's the celebratory sing-along gospel of "Gravelly Mountains of the Moon," the lush folk sounds of "Sun Will Shine (Warmth of the Sunship Version)," or "MBF," which lies at the intersection of primal punk rock and heavy free jazz, Akron/Family are a band boiling over with ideas.
Their musical vocabulary runs deep it's not just Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead that inform Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free. Akron/Family feel at home on this album, confident and self-assured. Following a year of making things bigger and wilder live, the band returns to something simpler on Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free.
With limited outside assistance, this trio has made a focused, powerful and unified work. Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free maintains the communal spirit of the big band that won audiences over throughout the world, but it showcases Akron/Family at its core three musicians, equals, creating music from deep within.
Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free is something undeniably special and immensely powerful. Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free is the new psychedelic rock.