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Killer Klassix: Jamie’s Elsewhere – “Unreleased Sessions” EP

“Unreleased Sessions” is a great example of a band’s attempt to rebrand and reestablish.
Killer Klassix: Jamies Elsewhere - Unreleased Sessions EP

Imagine being a god. With the long omnipresent reliance of humans making sacrifices in your name. All while spiritually shouldering the burdens, your heroic elements being immortalized in the oral retellings depicted by humans as larger than life. Though you may be granted with the ability to do almost anything based off of the celestial nature of your myth as delivered back on Earth, you are limited by the ethical high ground of your position. 

However, what if you are seen as human and flawed as your human counter parts (to a Grecian extent), and granted, by artistic depiction, the ability to fail? Such literary elements encompassed by a band’s complete line-up change laid the groundwork for a groundbreaking re-debut based both in mythic lore and artistic redemption.

The “Unreleased Sessions” EP was released by post-hardcore quintet, Jamie’s Elsewhere on Aug. 20, 2009. Independently released and available for purchase on tour, the band secured the following necessary for them to continue writing and further develop demo versions of a couple of the songs on the EP. What is notable is the synergy with which the band is able to create and develop material based on a single concept.

As noted by the cover of the album, the band utilized the concept of the 2006 Capcom release, “Okami” as the base concept for their artistic exploration. “Okami” tells the story of the sun god, Amaterasu, who looks to reseal a chaos demon back into the immortal prison where they are kept. Amaterasu, or Amy for short must travel to the living realm and with the assistance of some other gods, attain powers to defeat other demons that feed off of the living’s energy in order to reseal the original demon.

Upon the complete dismemberment of Jamie’s Elsewhere following the band leaving Victory Records after the release of their debut EP album on the label, the band lost their vocalist, drummer, guitarist and bassist, leaving only keyboardist Matt Anthony Scarpelli. Before exiting, Anthony recruited tri-band vocalist Aaron Pauley (future vocalist for Of Mice and Men) to audition for vocalist and front man of the band. Using a video game story based off Japanese myth in tandem with human depictions of redemption to symbolize the gutting of a band’s contributing members provides a lot of creative material for the band to explore both musically, lyrically and thematically. While the EP is only 4 tracks, it does well to distinguish Jamie’s Elsewhere’s developed sound.

“A Slave A Son” is the initial track that gets the EP started in style. Beginning with a cadence style drumroll lead in, Pauley’s mixture of melodic and unclean vocals sets the tone for the remainder of the EP, with the exclusion of the final track. It’s exhibitive of the combative nature of the myth from “Okami” in which a sun goddess must assume a wolf form in order to save both futile realms of the living and the immortal. This is furthered by the manner by which the melody and rhythm Inhibit the nature of the theme. Most rhythms and melodies on the EP can inhibit some form of self combative nature, a form of the god choosing between wrong and right, where the wolf chooses right, is what grounds the morose nature of the melodies.  

Vented through the myth of the wolf, Pauley’s screams iterating “What could I learn/By fighting the fires/With matches and gasoline?” is a masterful line of observance. As both an artist and in the context of the myth, the song denotes the futility of taking on the problems of the world on your shoulders, also the lament of the artist, for running the risk of only being reduced to the nature of your actions and wiping away the emotional autonomy, the person who is behind the intentions.     

“One Foot In The Grave” is a powerful track that inhibits desire to commit a mistake and for the consequences to dissipate in time. While there are some moments of disconnection, Pauley and Scarpelli exhibit a playful melody that trades focus with the aggressiveness of the harder elements of the song. This could be deduced to the mythology which presents Ameratsu, an incarnation of the sun god, assume a mortal form in order to restore balance to both the living and eternal world. 

This notion is furthered by the lyrics “Oh, it’s so hard to find relief/With this excess sensitivity/To the crimes that have been/Committed to others, not only me,” furthering the god’s lament to be able to live life carelessly and not mindful of the example he must provide to all those who worship him. The idea could be furthered by the classic artist’s lament to not be so expressive in replacement of the anonymity.  

“Burn Away” is an in-game reference to the celestial bush, but it also the most well-composed track on the EP. The track is such a work of art, exhibitive of Pauley’s vocal ability. While in reference to the game’s story and myth, there is a celestial bush that provides power and aid all throughout the game. 

In regards to the bush’s property, Pauley’s lyrics are cognizant of the properties of the bush, “And I’ll wait here/Patiently and watch the world/Slowly burn itself away.” The lyrics and backing melody weaved throughout the song highlight a morose mental nature, of wanting to give up and let everything fall to the wayside. To an extant, this is present in both Scarpelli’s attitude given losing his bandmates and “Okami” in the nature with which the living world accepts the demons running amuck in the game.  

“Just Dance (Lady Gaga Cover)” is a fun and playful cover very close to the source material. There is nothing really to say about the track except praise to Pauley’s vocal performance that perfectly carries the tune.

The EP stands strong. While at times Pauley’s reliance on screaming can hinder enjoyability of the EP as a whole, the melodic elements in the latter half of the EP compensate for the incoherent nature of some of the screams. 

While some superficial imperfections can be heard in some of the songs, I much prefer these versions of the songs due to their more emotive natures and honest attempts at exploration. Overall the EP is an ensured good listen and wonderful compensation of contemporary storytelling, myth experimentation and human exploration. It is a great example of a band’s attempt to rebrand and reestablish.   


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