akimbo - jersey shoresJersey Shores represents a new chapter in the the book of Akimbo. Using the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 as their source material they’ve managed to create a thoughtful, if unruly, thematic work that surpasses everything they’ve recorded to date. It’s not the sort of album you can recommend to just anybody, but there are some incredibly impressive moments of meditative, jammy hardcore that deserve some time in the limelight.

Jersey Shores shows the band stretching out with artful jamming and spacey guitars (“Lester Stillwell”)  that brings to mind East Bay Ray as much as Voivod’s Piggy and Weisnewski’s threateningly apathetic bass tone. “Rogue” is guitarist Aaron Walter’s moment to shine and he takes full advantage with dirty, galactic forays rooted in earthy grooves. As Jersey Shores moves along it just keeps getting better and more unconventional. For a band that has heretofore been known solely for its straightforward edge and propensity toward senseless drunken abandon, there’s plenty of instrumental interplay that’s pretty impressive

As always, Jon Weisnewski’s voice is an acquired taste. There are plenty of people who are going to shut this record off after the first few minutes due solely to the fact that the screams don’t even make an attempt at conforming to the key in which the music is playing. Sometimes the vocals work well with the music and other times…not so much. But the music is the strongsuit of this record.

This release seems to signal a new and enlightened beginning for Akimbo. It’s exciting to think about where they could take their sound from here. In the meantime Jersey Shores – which ends as it begins with the sounds of the ocean – presents an engaging, if a bit challenging, listen for hardcore fans that have grown to appreciate the thoughtfully extended jams of some of the contemporary sludge/stoner/doom acts. Make no mistake that Akimbo are still bringing their trademark edgy/noise, it’s just a bit more meditative this time out to a solidly good effect.


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3.5 out of 5 horns

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