Sub Verses - Akron/Family

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Apr 29, 2013
    Sub Verses offers such a disciplined sense of exploration, multivalent nuance, and commitment in its production and performance; it stands out in an already very distinguished catalog.
  2. Apr 30, 2013
    It’s a beautiful, often striking temple, one with some wonderful surprises. In the end, though, you’re outside that temple listening in, the visitor that never quite gets to come inside.
  3. May 1, 2013
    Sub Verses proves we shouldn't take Akron/Family for granted; their restlessness is rare.
  4. May 24, 2013
    Six albums in, they remain fond of that very Swans pursuit of ecstasy through repetition. [Jul 2013, p.69]
  5. Apr 22, 2013
    Even if this album is only for a limited audience, it's the sound of a band pushing onwards and upwards into the blue. [May 2013, p.94]
  6. Apr 22, 2013
    Akron/Family's seventh album proffers 10 diversely arranged slabs of leftfield clamour, all of them shot through with a contrasting pop-classicist melodic sensibility. [May 2013, p.90]
  7. Apr 22, 2013
    The explosion continues here, infused with a bit more darkness than these guys typically conjure up--heaviness, even. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.90]
  8. Apr 29, 2013
    Sub Verses may be genre hopping, but it’s not a particularly challenging listen as compared to its predecessors, albums that were both challenging and fun.
  9. 60
    The trio continue on that trajectory, the mystic chanting and ceremonial trances dancing through the scattering ash. Due to that cratered impact, everything on the album sounds urgent, an exhilarating feeling that takes a while to escape.
  10. May 10, 2013
    It's a denser, darker album than 2011's S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, spending more of its time gazing outward, intent on gleeful subversion and taking delight in making noise for the hell of it. [No. 98, p.52]
  11. 75
    Themes and aims aside, Sub Verses is simply an example of Akron/Family’s continued good run of form, and undoubted confidence.
  12. Apr 29, 2013
    Some of the extremes on the album feel awkward--the heavy metal too heavy, the loops of death overlooped, the calm too suddenly silent--but overall it is a deep, yawning collection of exciting musical experiments to dunk yourself into.
  13. Akron/Family are never going to stop changing and you never really know what you’re gonna get, but they could perhaps do with a bit more cohesiveness and bit less grandiosity next time around.
  14. Apr 29, 2013
    Having spent so much time racing from one experiment to the next, it’s fun to hear the band settle in and take stock in its own legacy.
  15. 67
    As a whole, the transitions are a bit choppy and sudden, digging away at the coherence of the album.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 24, 2013
    A fan only from their 2009 release, the eccentric sound of Akron/Family captured me with their upbeat grooves which married an ability to create, for a lack of a better word, 'epic' noise. Although coming from a (personally) disappointing 2011 release, "Sub Verses" still carries a bit of the moving groove but in a shift, matures toward a completely different tangent. Lots of noise and sound, part of what makes it an incredible album. Full Review »
  2. May 5, 2013
    I thought Shinju was pretty lack-luster but at least on that they were still bein crazy and trying new things. This album plays it way too safe for them and suffers because of it. It's boring and the melodies aren't that intriguing. None of the songs even throw you for a loop with an interesting change partway through. This band used to be my favorite but it seems like they are just digging a hole at this point. Only good song is "In the Morning" which I should mention could have been a great song but they never push it to that next level and pretty much just let it repeat. Full Review »