Akimbo – City of the Stars

City of the Stars

Upon my first listen to City of the Stars, Akimbo’s follow up to the very mediocre Elephantine, I was taken back a little bit by a slight change in sound. The band’s signature sound is still in tact, but I hear a lot of 70s influence that I can dig on.

On City of the Stars, Akimbo mixes classic-rock guitar leads, post-hardcore chord progressions, and a punk-rock feel. Everything from Black Sabbath to Led Zepplin to The Stooges to These Arms are Snakes can be heard shining through in the music. I guess you could call this some quasi form of stoner rock. Not only have the musicians added the 70s influence, but they also added a second guitarist to really round out the sound nicely. And perhaps he is partially responsible for the new sound?

The jagged guitar work and agressive drumming of their previous material still play a major part in the sound, and those things are present in nearly every song. Songs like “The Sorceress” best illustrates the 70s rock vibe I keep speaking about. It actually reminds me of the 70s feel to Mastodon’s Leviathan, but of course not nearly as metal.

I’m not really into this kind of stuff very often, but Akimbo does it better than most. However, I do think these guys could still work on a few things to tighten their sound up a bit. Maybe spend a little more time on the vocals/lyrics and energize some of their guitar work. Having never really been impressed by them in the past, I like where they are going with this record, but I think we will still have to wait to get anything truly worthwhile out of these guys.