Akron/Family is one of those exasperatingly unknowable bands. They've concocted an image, all right -- check out their MySpace page or the Young God Records one, and you will quickly be advised that they are "four extremely nice, sincere and well-mannered young men from rural America who came to New York City in 2002 to make music." But other than that and the occasional unfounded rumor that they practice a made-up cultish religion called AK (pronounced "ack"), the only way to know these apparently affable 20-something fellows -- vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Seth Olinsky, from Williamsport, PA; vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Miles Seaton, from Porterville, CA; vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Dana Janssen, from Williamsport, PA; and lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Vanderhoof, from Union Springs, NY -- is through their music, which falls squarely into the freak folk category launched, in the minds of the popular culture, anyway, single-handedly by Devendra Banhart. Through three albums made in a Brooklyn home studio and, more recently (2005), through a collaboration with Young God labelmate Angels of Light, Akron/Family has earned itself a madcap reputation: songs that start in a Beatles-inspired place inevitably erupt into skronk before settling into country sweetness, and folk-raised spirituals dart through Led Zeppelin territory, with '60s rock and general psychedelia also major themes. In addition to the more obvious influences -- the Beatles, Brian Wilson, Dylan, the Band -- Radiohead, Captain Beefheart, and acts like Spiritualized also clearly have infiltrated the Family iPods, and to impressive effect. Following their 2005 self-titled debut on Young God and a split with Angels of Light (also serving as the backing road and studio band for that Michael Gira project), Akron/Family released their follow-up album, Meek Warrior, in October 2006. [AMG Tammy La Gorce]