Take Acre Review
Instrumental rock is a tricky game. As the post-rock scene of the late 90s expanded, bands continued to try and outdo each other in a game of quieter moments leading into larger and larger crescendos. While I admit to being a sucker for this formula, there’s a lot to be said about a band that knows how to restrain itself.
Take Acre is a Minneapolis band made up of long-time members of the improv music and arts community of the Twin Cities. Among its members, guitarist Rich Barlow is the co-curator of the annual Heliotrope Festival, lap steel player Jaron Childs has performed with Low and Milo Fine, while the other members Charles Gillett and Davu Seru both perform with different improv groups around the city.
The first thing that becomes apparent about Take Acre is one thing: restraint. As previously mentioned in the post-rock scene, the obvious thing is going big. Slow parts lead to big crescendos. The pattern repeats. Take Acre take a different approach, resulting in a much more slow-burning approach. “Burned Grove” sets the tone for the album pretty well; a free jazzy opening hits a groove after a minute, with steady drumming providing a solid backdrop for guitar noodling and lap steel providing an exciting interplay. The band keeps the vibe throughout the record, from the loose “The Great Man Is On A Happy Odyssey” to the hazy “There Is A Pretty Distance.” Take Acre remains in control for the entire length of the record. Grooves and melodies play out over the course of the songs, never resorting to a cheap epic crescendo that you might expect. Saru’s jazzy drumming helps propel the band throughout the record, keeping busy but always anchoring the band.
The whole band is made of veteran players, and it shows throughout the course of the album. Things flow naturally between all the players and never reach dull points. I hope we hear a lot more from this band in the future.
Take Acre will perform at the Loring Theater tonight with STNNG, comedian Nils Lindahl and video by Emily Kaplan.
Writer / photographer / Reviler co-founder