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Published: 2002/09/24
by Brad Weiner

Connect – Yamagata

Eveland Records
Yamagata’s music is a perfect representation of the schizophrenic
improvisation music kingdom that has become the new underground in American
music. The music flows well, rocks hard, and grooves effectively, but it
never falls together in a cohesive, edible dish.
Each track on Connect is similar to the one that follows and after a
while it is tough to even know when one song ends and the next begins. The
first track is by far the best, which goes against the rules of mix tape
etiquette proposed in the Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity. Not to put
fine a point on it, but Yamagata opened their biggest present before the
holidays even arrived. "Around the World in Five Minutes" is an appropriate
title for a song that runs through a well composed progressive jaunt before
shifting into a funky, guitar driven bridge that creates such a massive
shift in tempo that it sounds like a train crash.
"Cypress Way," is a blaring, bizarre adventure. The lyrics are
coarse and painful and the bass is played by Matt Kirby, is rushed and
blandly unsoulful. Fortunately, the drumming is constantly rocking
throughout Connect and it drives the band through all twelve
To Yamagata’s credit, they can jam. Their release is essentially an
invitation to a show, which I would gladly accept. They are high energy and
are obviously holding back in the studio. The vocals sound extremely pure
and subdued compared to how they could reach fantastic heights in our
favorite smoky bars.

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