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Homemade Drugs

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Album Review

Oakland, CA's the Jim Yoshii Pile Up returned in late 2002 with the follow-up to 2001's It's Winter Here. The year between releases included personnel changes and turmoil within the quintet. Yet the band's rich, textured sound remains, highlighted by Paul Gonzenbach's tender, understated tenor. Guitarist Sikwaya Condon was replaced by Noah Blumberg for the band's sophomore effort. The group's steady maturation is immediately evident on the opening two tracks, "In Focus" and "Distance." With shorter songs and fewer extended instrumentals, the band continued to tweak its sound, as it has since its inception in 1997. The drum-machine beats lead the way on the lush "Haunted Rooms" and "A Deep Deep Lake" shines on the strength of the song's graceful guitar fuzz. On "Double Negative," the band starts off rather low-key before building a frantic guitar attack near the song's end. The disc ends with the serene urgency of "Lines Drawn." The disc was recorded with Scott Solter at Tiny Telephone and Fifteenth Street studios from December 2001 until February 2002. Absolutely Kosher Records released the disc in October 2002.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Oakland, CA's Jim Yoshii Pile-Up began in 1997, when Paul Gonzenbach (vocals/guitar), Frankie Koeller (bass), and Ryan Craven (drums) began performing as a trio. The addition of guitarist Sikwaya Condon added much-needed new blood later that year, and the band took off, performing their unique brand of textured indie rock, including tender and harsh tones along the West Coast. Named in honor of Jim Yoshii, a high school friend of the band, the group released a self-titled EP on Yoshii's own Old Prospector...
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Homemade Drugs, The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up
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