The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up – Picks Us Apart

The problem I now have is that I know why he sounds so bloody pissed-off, and I’m not convinced it’s any of my business.

The problem I now have is that I know why he sounds so bloody pissed-off, and I’m not convinced it’s any of my business.


I wanted to write the review of this without reading the bumf that came with it – I’m of the opinion that it’s harder to display any honesty when you’ve heard the boasty PR bollocks. But my computer was playing silly buggers so during the aeon that passed while I kicked it, restarted it, had a smoke and drummed my fingers impatiently on the desk much to the annoyance of my co-habitants, I made the mistake of leafing through the leaflets littering the table.


I’d listened distractedly to the album a couple of times and was superficially impressed, although anyone with young kids will tell you that once you loosen the knots and take the masking tape off you can’t really listen to music properly. So it was eventually time to have a serious listen when the bloody computer throws a wobbler and I’m instinctively drawn to the folded flyer – a Pandora’s pamphlet, if ever there was one.


I’m British, in fact I’m actually British in inverted commas. A sort of Carry-On film "British". The sort of half-arsed stiff-upper-lip "British" affected by those of us too young to really know what a stiff-upper-lip is. One tends to ‘grin and bear’ things and one certainly does not wash one’s dirty linen in public. One might of course be tempted to run the old scrubbing brush over somebody else’s crusty smalls……….


A Toast To The Happy Couple is first up and it’s great. It kicks off with the sort of duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh bass and rhythm that The Cure or New Order would have been proud of. And I’m proud for the lads too. The chiming, hanging guitars swim lethargically around and Paul Gonzenbach weaves an intriguing tale from the off with a wonderfully miserable, shoe-gazing monologue that’s refreshingly cliche-free.


I love a sad song and Mr G. is, without doubt, a tad maudlin. The problem I now have is that I know why he sounds so bloody pissed-off, and I’m not convinced it’s any of my business. Then again, it’s possibly exactly that sort of denial that exacerbated the problem in the first place. Do you see what I mean? I could have just reviewed the CD, yet now I feel personally involved.


Heart My Home is quite lovely – acoustic and soft and fluffy and light and soothing and sad. Like tomato soup when you’re ill. Low-Rent Horror picks up the post-punk misery again – guitar hooks that are easy to sing and the lyrics are splendid and desolate. The light hearted jovial banter is once again nowhere to be found for Silver Sparkler, but I can go with it. I love a sad song………no, really.


If there’s a dodgy number on here, for me it’s The Mind Of God. Lyrically it’s just not as attractive as the rest, musically it’s a bit of a racket. Hall Clock is not going to get anybody out of bed and if they do it live, I’ve a sneaking suspicion the bar-takings go up. It’s not until R.E.V.U.L.S.I.O.N. that there’s once again a bit of despair-with-balls to get us wringing out our hankies.


I think I’ve sussed out why the bio has troubled me so much, and why I like sad songs so much. Listening to music is actually a sort of parasitic endeavour. Sucking in emotion through your ears and using it for your own purposes. Whether it be pure adrenaline up-lift, or introspective exploration we all use other peoples music to help us express and come to terms with our own thoughts and feelings, and it is because songs contain imagery and poetry that we can twist them to our own ends and make of them what we will. As soon as they leave the pen they are ours to devour.


I don’t want to be told the grim details of another man’s desperation in plain English – my ‘Britishness’ can’t deal with it. I’m selfish – it’s up to me how I interpret what I listen to. So I’m not going to tell you what it says in the bio because, as I said, it’s none of my business – it’s not my story to tell. I’ll just have to deal with the fact that I have become a censor.


Listen to the record and work it out for yourself. It’s worth it. There is beauty in sadness.  Who knows, maybe one day you’ll meet Paul Gonzenbach and he can tell you himself – the crazy poof.