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It's Winter Here

The Jim Yoshii Pile Up
It's Winter Here
(Absolutely Kosher)

If someone had me pinned against the floor and telling me that they were going to smash my face in lest I put The Jim Yoshii Pile Up into a genre of music, I would cringe a bit and then in a quiet voice say, "Emo." My main reason behind this would not only be because the group doesn't _quite_ fit into that category, but because as of late (actually for quite some time now), there seems to be a backlash against the term "emo." The people who listen to the genre hate the term because its sort of become synonymous with "wimpy" and those who don't like the genre do so because they think it's wimpy.

That whole paragraph probably barely makes any sense, but the fact of the matter is that The Jim Yoshii Pile Up creates mostly rather slow tracks that build and build upon themselves until they're a mixture of beautiful, layered guitars and super emotive vocals. Although they do pick up the tempo and rock out a couple times on the disc, it seems that they're mainly concerned with slowly lulling you into their sound and then finally giving you a big sonic release.

In fact, the very first song on the album entitled "Jetzt Mit Iodine" does just that. It runs about five and a half minutes long, but about halfway through it drops off and begins its true ascent, which lasts for over a full minute until the 5 members combine for a complete instrumental bliss to close things out. It's a swelling high point, and quite a moment for the very first track on the album. The next track takes things slow from the start again and meanders along until it again shimmers and shakes during a couple different chorus points.

The group changes up things a bit finally on the fourth track "Peter Von Pinnon Final Draft" and rock out right out of the gates. Although it's the shortest track on the release, it comes midway through the album and the blistering instrumental track is a welcome break from the slow builds and surges of the other tracks that come before it. One the seventh track "Before I Left, After I Got Back," the group stretches things out to almost 12 minutes and go through a middle section of the song where cymbals shimmer and crash around an almost hip-hop drum beat and curling guitars. It's a hazy, almost psychadelic track given their previous tracks, but it never really grows too tedious despite the length, and coming near the end of the album doesn't really swamp it down.

So while the group has the vocals and some of the instrumentation in common with the somewhat dreaded "emo" label (on some tracks they remind me of a dreamier version of the now-defunct Boys Life), they also throw in a few tricks of their own and have created a batch of eight songs that you'll probably find yourself straining to sing along with at just the right moments. It might not move fast enough for some, but getting there is half the fun.

Rating: 6.75