Navigating the Bronze – Akimbo

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All you crusty dudes who say punk died somewhere around 1986 should hear Akimbo. The duo of Natt Damm and Jon Weisnewski, along with an ever-changing guitar player, dabble in punk, blues, metal and 70s monster rock and they like all of it as loud as possible. On their new album, Navigating The Bronze, Akimbo come screaming back loud, fast and scary as hell. Lemmy from Motorhead famously said, “if Motorhead moves in next door your lawn will die.” Akimbo manages not only the lawn, but the trees, houses and everything else on the block.

Although Damm and Weisnewski are a killer rhythm section, the bulk of Akimbo’s music is based around hard-hitting guitar power riffs, brought by hot shot axeman Aaron Walters since 2006. This is Walters’ first record with Akimbo, and not only does he blend seamlessly into the band, but he might also be their greatest guitar player to date. His startling opening riff on “You Can Hear The Honey” manages to echo the glory days of punk and metal in the same breath. And when Weisnewski opens up that cannon of a mouth of his, everything clicks into place. Imagine Slayer and Black Flag in a mutant jam.

But don’t get it in your head that Akimbo are just heavy rockers executing a panzer assault strike on your stereo. The album’s closing eight minute epic “Stjernesborg” shows how deep their artistry really goes. The song’s named after 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe’s underground observatory. Despite discovering a supernova, developing one of the most widely-used heliocentric theories and training Johnannes Kepler, Brahe also kept a trained moose in his home and went everywhere with a “clairvoyant” dwarf. The mad genius and his beautiful open skies burn through the track, with Akimbo mixing in peaceful, dare I say meditative passages that are as darkly beautiful as they are foreboding, since you know the silence won’t last long.