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Akimbo - Harshing Your Mellow (Cover Artwork)

Akimbo

Akimbo: Harshing Your MellowHarshing Your Mellow (2002)
Amalgate

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wow. Just wow. I saw these guys open for The Blood Brothers in a small venue in Minneapolis and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As only a trio, I was amazed at the sound they were producing. I immediately picked up their album after the show. The best way to describe this band is "fuck shi.
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Wow. Just wow. I saw these guys open for The Blood Brothers in a small venue in Minneapolis and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As only a trio, I was amazed at the sound they were producing. I immediately picked up their album after the show.

The best way to describe this band is "fuck shit up music." Something is always moving, whether it be insane guitar riff, mind-blowing bass riff, or crazy as hell drum fill. Seemingly sloppy at first listen, an intense precision underlines the music to be extremely rhythmic. Not only does this band experiment with tempo variations, but also time signature changes. And they do it extremely well too. When listening to the record, you don't have guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, but all four blending together in a gigantic homogenous mixture. It's like musical pudding. Delicious, and smooth.

If you really want to, you can pick out the individual instruments. The guitar is usually laying down melody with either a crazy chord or riff. The bass plays some of the sickest lines I've ever heard. The guitar is amazing in it's own right, but the bass actually plays harmony to the guitar chords most of the time instead of playing the root. Not only that, but chords are played a lot of the time also. The bass is treated like another guitar, utilizing effects like distortion and fuzz. Also, the bass player is actually the only guy who does vocals. Which, of course, brings us to vocals. This band presents a nice variation of your regular tough guy jock rock hardcore vocals. But then, it's not the high pitched scream of the "sasscore" variety either. It fits somewhere in the middle and takes a back seat to the music, which is the highlight anyway. The drumming on this record is heavy, hard, solid, and intense. The drums blend so well with the music that it's hard to say anything besides the fact that they are amazing.

My one lament about this album is the production. Mainly, the drums. They sound great, but the bass drum is much too heavy and the cymbals much too loud. If you play this record in a system that picks up a lot of bass, you're going to have to turn it down, otherwise the bass drum will echo and make the music sound off beat.

One of my favorite things about Akimbo is their songs titles. Favorites include: "When I am King I will Spit on the Corpse of Ray Manzarek," "Paul Ruebens Theatre," and "Steal Your Firstborn." Not to be left out, the title of the record takes a stab at stoners. There is a high level of arrogance surrounding this band that makes them that much greater.

What really ties this album together is the transitions. The record starts out with a white noise intro, one of the songs ends in a hip-hop breakbeat sample complete with turntable scratching, and yet another ends with a transition into a cheesy 80s keyboard line. The best transition comes at the end of "Fuck Everett, Fuck Tacoma." It's a long spooky noise deal with some sort of gasping in it, and then there's a line from an old move that goes, "I wish the dead could come back to life so I could kill you again," which leads into, you guessed it, the song of the same title. Genius. This album is meant to be listened to all the way through, which brings us to song length. The shortest track is 1:27, while the longest clocks in at 3:34. Short, sweet, and to the point, but you'd never expect how short these songs are due to the amount of rhythmic transitions that take place inside of them.

Let's see...what did I miss? Oh yeah, lyrically, this band dominates. "what ever happened to I don't care," "if I can't bleed you will bleed if I can't breathe you won't breathe," "it was a pretty knife that stabbed punk rock in the back red lipstick licked the blade as the blood dripped down in stagnant pools of apathy."

For my summary paragraph, I can only say one thing: this band will be the saviors of hardcore music. Fight against the tide of cookie cutters and embrace the innovation.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jason Collett - Here's to Being HereThe Makai - The End of All You KnowWarren Ellis - Crooked Little Vein [book]Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't It FunnyBlonde Redhead - 2331 Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything AnywhereOf Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical)Joe Lally - There to HereTin Armor - A Better Place Than I Have Been

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 4, 2004)

heh because going to see the blood brothers makes you a music expert or some shit.

Anonymous (March 4, 2004)

fuck you mr ultra cool punk. Akimbo is hands down the worst band around. At the Fireside in Chicao opening for The Blood Brothers Akimbo was booed and booed and everyone talked about what garbage this band is.

soulbleed (March 2, 2004)

this cd kicks ass. so does their new cd elephantine. make sure you check it out.

Anonymous (March 1, 2004)

This was an extremely well written review. I come here every now and again to read reviews and this has been one of the better ones. You described their sound and did it in a well illustrated way. Review the next one, I am anxious to see what the other cd sounds like.

Katie4213 (February 29, 2004)

jesse - good reveiw! and i agree, akimbo is amazing. way to represent seattle!

Jesse (February 29, 2004)

Oh, and referring to me as a fag and a fruit cake was a very witty touché. I feel your mature and well thought out and well punctuated comments stinging my side as I type. I just love to "get crazy" to this stuff. So crazy in fact that when I put on this album, I like to have sex with my boyfriend and discuss how crazy we actually are.

Jesse (February 29, 2004)

I WAS going to review Elephantine and give it a 10, but obviously you people don't appreciate my reviews of Akimbo...

Anonymous (February 29, 2004)

this cd is pretty good, but their new cd elephantine is fucking awesome...the production is much better, and the songs are much more straight up black sabbath by way of black flag and they do it damn well. go to www.dopamine-records.com to hear anmp3 off of elephantine and check that out over harshing your mellow.

Anonymous (February 29, 2004)

this what art fags and indie rockers listen to when they want to feel "crazy". fruit cakes.

Anonymous (February 28, 2004)

"let me guess, this is another one of those bands that just makes a bunch of bullshit noise and calls it their own sound. pass."

this review actually does them a disservice. they're a really good band. whether or not i'd call them "saviors of hardcore" is an entirely different matter.

here's a different one. i wrote it. just now.

akimbo owe a lot to drive like jehu, sabbath, and black flag. which means they're really loud, really chaotic, and really sludgy (even while playing fast). their song structure and timing is structured in such a way that it's really compelling and interesting (as opposed to all the hydrahead/"metalcore" bands infesting hardcore as of late, who all sound like they've got designs towards being studio musicians on the rock opera mike patton is undoubtedly putting together [with all of the inane pretension and needless guitar noodling that goes along with it]). live, one gets the feeling that they're constantly attempting to find the brown note.

it's ad hoc, and it's a pile of shit, but it's better than hyperbolic raving about how akimbo's gonna save hardcore. hardcore doesn't need salvation (or maybe it does if you're going to blood brothers shows). never review anything ever again.

mac.
deathtofalse@yahoo.com
aim=aryan dolemite

Anonymous (February 28, 2004)

yeah, ray manzarek is a washed up loser who keeps milking the ghost of his long-dead band.

Anonymous (February 28, 2004)

Hmmm..
Don't know about these guys but everyone should check out the band Circle Takes The Square. Now theres some good noisecore.

-intheshapeofawineglass

Anonymous (February 27, 2004)

nowhere near enough reviews have started out like yours! good job, scenester!

Anonymous (February 27, 2004)

let me guess, this is another one of those bands that just makes a bunch of bullshit noise and calls it their own sound. pass.

t-rav (February 27, 2004)

It's ok......

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