The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up
It's Winter Here


4.5
superb

Review

by Pheromone USER (16 Reviews)
June 21st, 2020 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rise. Fall. Repeat.

Midwest emo is no stranger to the pattern of the rise and fall - the meandering build to an emotional crescendo. It’s a tried-and-tested formula which, when successful, provides the listener with moments of anticipation, sometimes brief, that reward an entire song in return. It just so happens that The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up are better than most at manoeuvring this formula, whereby an ethereal classic verse-chorus structure counts down patiently to the release. It’s calculated, slow-core inspired, dig-deep into your skin, blink-and-you-might-miss-it sort of stuff that requires time. It’s Winter Here is music which sounds better on the tenth listen than the first - and even better on the hundredth.

The album strikes best when each elongated guitar tone, melody and lyric sound so familiar; where the inevitable crash is practically built into your ears-expectation. Further, each crescendo bursts with such conviction that you’d be forgiven for getting lost in the emotion, even where the lyrics sound so personal to the singer and so foreign to you. For example, one of the perfect microcosms of this discussion is situated on the song Breakdown Champion. Here, a soft croon serves as anticipation into the first chorus which only hints at release. Instead the song fades back to the familiar twinkle of the four introductory guitar notes into the repeated croon of the first verse, building softly through the chorus and then, finally, the release - ‘often when I'm sitting in my room, I stare at my poster of Prince, and sometimes I think of you and I spit when I do’ – This is easily one of my favourite moments on the album and serves as a perfect example of the rise and fall. Here, the vocalist Paul Gonzenbach roars out those final lines with so much power and feeling that a literal interpretation gets lost behind the emotional crescendo. The anguish is illuminated so successfully, a pattern repeated throughout the album.

Lyrically, It’s Winter Here is equal parts poetic and honest. The themes covered are those sadly familiar to many; the fear of the monotonous cycle of low-paid employment, relationship anxiety and all-too-regular melancholy. This is paired with the combination of three guitars that expertly walk the line of tension until the inevitable fall of the crash – gloriously cathartic and perfectly rewarding. It’s intensity and precision often sought in music, but rarely achieved.

It’s incredibly disheartening, therefore, to see The Jim-Yoshii Pile Up simply lost in time. To me, they could have been so much more. On It’s Winter Here, they crafted their own unique blend of twinkly Midwest emo, balancing placid slow-core softness expertly against a post-rock manoeuvre of tension and release. It remains a genuine breath of fresh air in a genre too-often the victim of similarity. It’s deserving of cult status, however has been unfortunately forgotten with time - for now.



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user ratings (19)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Pheromone
June 21st 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Supposedly Ben Gibbard's favourite band. Take of that what you will.

Now listen to this !

Digging: Cosmo Pyke - Just Cosmo

theBoneyKing
June 22nd 2020


19586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review Phero. Definitely convinced me to check this soon.



One suggestion though - maybe break up that long paragraph into two or three? There’s a couple spots you could easily do this without much/any editing of the text and I think it’d read better and look better on the page. :-)

zakalwe
June 22nd 2020


31832 Comments


Nice one phero

Pheromone
June 22nd 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers lads - I'm excited to see what you think of it Boney & I definitely agree x





someone
June 27th 2020


1070 Comments


great record, many feels

theBoneyKing
June 28th 2020


19586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is very, very good. Comfy stuff. Though I can't help but think I'm checking it out at the wrong time of year. ;-P

Pheromone
June 28th 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good stuff boney - It's defo a winter album (if you couldn't tell by the name) but anytime is a good time I guess. Just get it on rotation this winter!

theBoneyKing
July 1st 2020


19586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Breakdown Championship" is amazing.



You asked me what's my greatest fear?

Well honey, it's living here

Earning $6.50 an hour...


Pheromone
July 2nd 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes boney, that’s definitely a top 3 on here along with sharp repellent and before I left. The former two being the perfect examples of that crashing release destroying my emotions!

theBoneyKing
July 3rd 2020


19586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Those three are huge yeah. Also love "Hello" and the opener. Can definitely see why Ben Gibbard loves this band!

Pheromone
July 3rd 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah once I found that out I started noticing a lot more similarities between the two I wouldn’t have thought about before. Glad you’re digging it

theBoneyKing
July 14th 2020


19586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I already said this but I love "Breakdown Championship" so fucking much.

Pheromone
July 14th 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Boney you beaut

Completely agree. The crescendo is so perfect - 'earning 6:50 an hour... AND OFTEN WHEN IM SITTING IN MY ROOM' - chills.

Pheromone
July 27th 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shark Repellent ;_;

Pheromone
August 22nd 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the opener sets this up so well

Pheromone
October 23rd 2020


8612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is perfect for those cold winter nights travelling



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