LP Edition of 300 / Numbered BANDCAMP!
The third, perhaps ultimate, album by Jee Jee Band is now in our possession. And even more than its predecessors, Holy Yolk is a unique balancing act between aesthetic poles. On one hand, there is the somewhat unhinged K-Pop snack-attack that marked the duo’s earliest recordings. On the other, there are the tracks that offer something more like a twisted take on Pioneer Valley bedroom creationism.
Jee Jee Band has always consisted — in its most protean form — as Jee Eun Lim and Matt Jones. From different sides of the world, they met while Matt was teaching English in South Korea. Various peregrinations followed, and the pair found themselves in Western Mass, San Francisco and various other places over the past years.
Matt is originally from Ware, MA and has roots and branches entangled with several of the oddball musicians who inhabit the area. This is why people like Bob Fay (Sebadoh, Deluxx), John Moloney (Sunburned, Caught On Tape) and Tim Sheldon (Fat Worm of Error) seem to pop up whenever he turns on a tape recorder.
Earlier albums have usually leaned one way or another in terms of what musical direction they favor, but Holy Yolk has a fully syncretic heft. While the organized lightness of K-Pop remains a core belief, the anarcho tendencies of the Valley weasel their fingers deep into the music’s guts. This allows the songs to exist as pop musings about long distance loss, while also being larded with a sort of noise-froth that is antithetical to the actual genre. No yin without yang, right?
Holy Yolk is a weird and lovely masterpiece of longing, obsession, air travel and delicious food. Exactly what it celebrates is never abundantly clear, but it really does feel like a hosanna. And these days, we can surely use all of those we can get.
-Byron Coley, 2017