Jim Yoshii Pile-up
Absolutely Kosher Records
it's spectacular (like on opener "In Focus"), it's stunning,
and when it's miserable (CD perfect moment "Middle Harbor Road")
it's devastating. In between it's as good as anything Death Cab
has put out, probably better and certainly more accessible thanks
to the 5-piece's simple compositions and Paul Gonzenbach's airy
On "Middle Harbor
Road," Gonzenbach convinces you of a young couple's hopelessness,
trapped living in a trashy neighborhood where "They're selling
guns on the corner" then asking "Maybe we should
reconsider / How much do they want?" before coming to the
conclusion that "This might be the best we ever do / Living
in the gap between downtown and the water." Poignant. The
first-person portraits of poverty and insecurity are almost confessional,
and listening is like giving into audio voyeurism.
He does it again on throbbing
"3+1" where he tells a desperate friend that "Honey,
he doesn't love you. Can't you see the resentment on his face, the
subtle abuse in his tone?" asking her to "Oh, give
me a call. I'm still the same old guy you knew in school, the oldest
18 and so, so, so tired of life."
At its worst, it can
become too dour and ignorable (you forget to pay attention at around
track five, "Haunted Rooms"). Then you're rocked awake
by "A Deep Deep Lake," that finds a way to weave some
delicious piano amid a guitar-bashing chaos. Though they're from
Oakland, they have that obvious Portland PNW indie sound -- the
rolling guitar that reminds me of every DCFC recording, the cinematic
chord progressions and majesty of the best Pedro the Lion tracks.
Posted Nov. 24,
2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
first-person portraits of poverty and insecurity are almost
confessional, and listening is like giving into audio voyeurism."