Written by Travis Shosa
This review was originally written for COUNTERZINE on January 27, 2020. It has been re-edited and adapted for Stamens/Pistils/Parties.
Dublin, California emo sadpunks Yosho (not Yoshi) open up the new decade with their most fully realized project to date with their EP Songs for Yr Myspace: six economically written tunes filled with raw performances, self-loathing lyrics, and a Nintendo reference or two.
“Lil’ Plicky” opens up the set, a new recording of an old tune featured on their 2018 EP wyd!?? vol. 2. This version is less blown out while still maintaining the same unprocessed energy. Plicky can be a slang term to describe someone annoying, with the lyrics touching upon feeling clingy or unwanted. Lead vocalist Josh refers to his “getaway” from a person he likely smothered with attention, then distanced himself from when he didn’t receive it back. “I can never stop talking / I’d realize I’m sad,” he laments over a clean, noodly lil’ riff playing against crunchy, distorted power chords.
“Fvck Roku” is an intended diss track directed at the digital media player manufacturer, as they declined Josh an internship. Instead, he ends up bashing himself, twisting up about being “useless” and “unproductive” now that he has nothing that needs doing. “Zaboom” is more playful, yet still can’t escape a battle with low self-esteem. What begins as a cute and innocent invitation to play GameCube devolves into beating himself up for spending too much time on the computer, being a recluse, and not being a desirable partner.
“Tumblr Gang” sees Yosho take things as far as succumbing to self-flagellation for an inflated ego. It also features Josh’s most cathartic vocal performance: his rough, cracked screams of “Well, it’s fucking hard / To watch someone else / Living the life / You saw for yourself” an absolute gut punch. “Mr. Bump” revisits the defeatism of “Lil’ Plicky” regarding Josh being “too talkative for [his] own good” and “never shut[ting] the fuck up when [he] know[s] [he] should,” with a bouncier melody and more comedic tone (“I’m abrasive / I’m grating at best / A grown adult who’d wear a Ninja Turtles sweater-vest”).
The EP closes on its most downtrodden track, “Bonus Round.” Featuring a weary melody of chiming acoustic guitars, it only features two lines sporadically repeated throughout its three minutes and 40 seconds: “If you think that I’m lonely / Then maybe you know me / Better than myself” and “If I show my face again / In this town / I hope you kill me.”
Songs for Yr Myspace is a pity party, no doubt. Nevertheless, it’s still a party: barring the intended relatable sucker punches scattered throughout and the blatantly depressive “Bonus Round.” If Yosho pushes towards lengthier releases in the future, they’ll likely want to switch things up a bit more, but at a perfect length of 15 minutes, it’s solid material for power wallowing.
Travis Shosa is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stamens/Pistils/Parties. Formerly the runner of COUNTERZINE, he has bylines at Pitchfork, The Alternative, and Post-Trash among others.