Shuffle: Akron Band Relaxer Sells Pedals By Day, Rocks Out By Night

Apr 20, 2017

Akron psychedelic prog rock band Relaxer releases a new album next month.
Credit Chris Tran

An Akron band that mixes business with its psychadelic prog rock is getting ready to release a new album next month.

In this week’s Shuffle, Devil Strip Magazine music editor Brittany Nader introduces us to Relaxer.

Relaxer is a four-piece group made up of musicians who have been in different bands in the Akron area since the 1990’s.

“They’re kind of in with The Black Keys, and they’ve been a staple in the Akron music scene for a long time even though Relaxer has only been around a few years," Nader says.

The sound
Nader says Relaxer's sound is best described as psychedelic prog rock.

“One of the band members described it as Pink Floyd that evolved into a Black Sabbath sound. It’s that old school rock ‘n roll, loud, in-your-face type of music.”

Their new album, "Unreal Cities" will be released in May.

"A few years ago, they opened for The Shins in Kent and they were playing here and there but not really doing much. Now they’re putting out this new album and doing some shows. They’re becoming more active."

A band in the pedal business
The band's founding member, Jamie Stillman, owns guitar pedal maker EarthQuaker Devices based in Akron.

“They just opened a new space and are just blowing up all over the world. I think they like having the Akron connection because this is where they work, live and play,” Nader says. 

Akron music scene
Nader says the members of Relaxer have had mixed feelings about Akron's music scene.

"Certain venues have closed, like the Lime Spider, which was their [favorite] venue. It’s now The Lockview. I’m sure that was heartbreaking for them, but they each have certain venues in Akron that they love and hang out at and they still enjoy going to these places."

And, Nader says Relaxer was starting to wonder if they would continue to thrive here.

"A lot of them feel like they’re getting older – having kids and families…and wondering if they still fit in with the younger crowd. But they’re getting more active now, and we'll see."