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THE JIM YOSHII PILE-UP
PICKS US APART
BY ELISABETH DONNELLY

What have these self-obsessed California emo boys been up to? The promo material lays it on the line: lead singer Paul Gozenbach was "mentally ill" when he poured his soul out into this, the Pile-Upís third album. The result is a slog through suicidal-teenager-diary-level lyrics. "To my father/Black and blue/I leave a blood-stained mattress, lifeless handsake," Gozenbach sings in the opening lines of "A Toast to the Happy Couple." His mopy delivery is bolstered by serviceable guitars that jangle and hum like Death Cab for Cutie, only without the shimmering hooks; instead, they noodle around in search of melodies that never quite coalesce. Even the strings that are added on the melodramatic "Black and Gold" and "Mind of God" canít cover for those lyrics.

The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up + the Wrens + Audible | Middle East, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | August 19 | 617.864.EAST


Issue Date: August 19 - 25, 2005
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