Hearing Aide: Jimkata’s Live Album ’10 More Songs’
Upstate’s own Jimkata continues to buzzsaw through genres and expected timetables for success. They have been diligent in the studio over the years and have worked even harder touring, which is why their newest live release 10 More Songs fittingly celebrates the latter. A 14-song commemoration of the embodiment of both Jimkata and their Upstate NY roots, live tracks were plucked from shows in their resident Ithaca and also Rochester, Oriskany Falls and even Brooklyn. Yes, 14 songs. Looks like the boys over there in the ‘Kata Kamp’ have quite the sense of humor, adding with it an enjoyable 80’s esque cover art with 8th Grade Media Arts type-graphics atop at sunset cover with two pelicans. All I really know about pelicans is they are especially hungry and the same could be said about Jimkata’s meteoric rise to success.
The live compilation for 10 More Songs was masterfully selected. At times during multiple re-listens, I found myself yearning for a bit more hi-fidelity in the mastering of the audio but that is often quickly subsided with slowly-building jams on nearly all the tracks. Not only do most 10 More Songs’ 14 tracks consist of Upstate tour dates, but fittingly, they truly embody the entire body of Jimkata’s song catalog, which fittingly, was often first tested on Upstate NY jam crowds. At least a tune from every Jimkata era or album is represented, including several from their latest release Die Digital, which appropriately is one of the best damn live tracks on the album.
In addition to long-time jam vehicles’ “Greyhound”, from their breakthrough LP Burn my Money, two real surprises come from the tracks “One to Ten” and “Soap.” In the former, listeners are urged to be patient with the song’s live progression as the final two minutes really highlight what Jimkata is capable of as a band when it all gels at the end of real live exploration. Similarly, the album’s fourth song, “Soap”, also starts out of the gates rather slow but layers and layers into a dominant, clean hard jam, driven by Jimkata drummer Packy Lunn and bassist David Rossi.
While some may scoff at the idea of a live album this early in Jimkata’s resume, closer inspection will reveal that Jimkata’s body of work is not only experienced but mature, whereas those two adjectives are not always synonymous. 10 More Songs is a great live-album introduction from this band. Jimkata, as a band with a unique sound with great vocals continues to grow bigger and badder with every tour stop they cram in or festival they play. This new live release contains enough octane to continue furthering that mission for those not going to shows or festivals but chillin on their couches or driving their cars.
Key Tracks: Greyhound, One to Ten, Soap