Published Sep 17, 2007Slowly but surely Seattles Akimbo have been building an impressive library of heavy and smart releases. Navigating the Bronze, the bands fifth, finds them moving from a trio to a quartet with the addition of Aaron Walters on second guitar. And the more sounds added to the bands din the better, which ranges here from 90s-style AmRep noise rock to technical hardcore to Southern groove. The mighty "Wizard Van Wizard features all of those sounds in a couple minutes flat. Drummer Nat Damm, who also handles most of the bands artwork, steals the show with his smart fills and nearly-out-of-control style pumped up high in the mix, with a great natural sound to boot. His beats propel songs like "Dungeon Bastard along, helping to make them the strange pieces of emotional hardcore-meets-joke rock that they are (in "Roman Coins theres a freakin drum solo he is the song). Somewhere in all this is the strange paradox that is Akimbo: is it all a sly joke to the in crowd or just great heavy sonics to bang the head to? Who knows? Oh, and the last song is an eight-minute ode to a madman astronomer youve never heard of, if that helps clarify matters any.
The name of the album is Navigating the Bronze. What is the bronze?
Bassist/vocalist Jon Weisnewski: The last half of an awesome album title. Damm: [The album title] is what we felt was representative of the songs we were writing. Id say that choosing album names is one of the hardest things about making a record. "Navigating the bronze is playing rock, sailing the seas of radness. It hits the nail on the head for us for this record, plus it conjures up imagery that is pertinent to what were doing. As soon as I heard the title I imagined stormy seas and a Viking van taking us from city to city.
Youve got a new guitarist since last time out. What has Aaron brought to the band?
Damm: Aaron has brought some serious shredding, and a killer vocabulary. Weisnewski: Hmm. We used to be a triangle, now were a circle.
The bands sound is so aggressive yet seems to also have a light-hearted, humorous edge. Whats the motivation behind the music?
Damm: I think we just do what we feel is best. Were not really angry people. It feels really good to play music in general. [And] have a good time all the time. (Alternative Tentacles)