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Album Review: Into It. Over It./Koji - IIOI/KOJI

Another month, another cracking release from No Sleep Records. This time it's the turn of Evan Thomas Weiss (Into It. Over It.) and Andrew Koji Shiraki (Koji), two long term friends who claim this release was 'ten years in the making'. With both sides recorded at the same time in the same studio(engineered by Mark Michalik who's previous credits include The Swellers and Fireworks amongst others) and featuring a slew of guest musicians from the likes of La Dispute, Castevet and Cloudmouth this is release that is bursting with collaborative and communal spirit.

Into It Over It's five songs are the first half of the record and opens with arguably one of the strongest songs on the record. 'Wicker Park' builds over layers guitars and vocal harmonies over a simple drum pattern in a way that Death Cab For Cutie did so well on ‘Plans’ and truth be told there is more than a passing resemblance between Weiss’ voice and that of Ben Gibbard. However what Into It Over It does so well is play with genre in a way that sees the Saves The Day-esque Humboldt sit comfortably next to the slide guitar led ‘Ravenswood’.

The Koji songs share this genre hopping charm, but his fall into more traditional solo singer-songwriter bracket than that of IIOI. Sounding not dissimilar to how Jordan Pundik would sound after recruiting Frank Turner’s backing band Koji’s half of the record is far more upbeat, poppier and folkier. The strings on ‘Giants Sleeping’ give the song a real pop sheen that closes the record well. Also full credit must go to Michalik for the stellar production. The record is crisp but still sounds warm and open, the two halves fitting well together having been born from the same sessions.

I don’t know how No Sleep does it. This record is cracking addition to their already sterling discography and fantastically showcases two artists intent on creating honest affecting music with a strong emphasis on community, creativity and quite simply good songs, really good songs and that’s what this split is full of.


'IIOI/KOJI' by Into It Over It./Koji is available now on No Sleep Records.

Into It. Over It. on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Koji on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Barney Dufton

Alter The Press!