Released By : Dirt Diamonds Records
Genre : Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Link : www.eskimojoe.net
1. Gave It All Away
2. When We Were Kids
3. Love Is A Drug
5. Speeding Car
6. Ghosts Of The Past
8. Just Don’t Feel
9. Drowning In The Fear
10. Words Of Avoidance
11. Sky’s On Fire
Beginning life in the early parts of the 2000’s as an indie rock band, ESKIMO JOE eventually made their way toward a more commercial sound and eventually had a major hit with their third album BLACK FINGERNAILS, RED WINE. Though mainstream acceptance and commercial success enveloped the band, some of their older fans yearned for them to go back toward the underground sound where they started. While that may be a fair enough feeling, the fact is ESKIMO JOE never abandoned anything at all, they just very quickly became a very, very good band that managed to find a perfect mix between writing hit songs and remaining interesting and still a little different to anything else that was going on. Taking the success in their stride, the band resurfaced in 2009 with INSHALLA, a more straightforward radio-friendly album that while still an excellent listen certainly had its detractors.
GHOSTS OF THE PAST, which is the band’s all-new fifth album was certainly one of my most anticipated releases of the year and after finally getting my hands on it I’m happy to announce that it is as excellent as I could of hoped for. I will admit that it was a bit of a grower and took a handful of listens before it sunk in, but once it had I just couldn’t get enough of it. Sound-wise it’s sort of a culmination of the bands previous two albums, and ESKIMO JOE certainly sound very, very comfortable in their own skin throughout this disc. To put it simply, if you’re of those fans that are praying for this to be a return to the alternative indie-rock sound the band started out with then you’ll be sorely disappointed….But if, like myself, you have enjoyed the bands later works then you’re in for a real treat.
The songwriting is fantastic on GHOSTS OF THE PAST, and while there is still enough grit and angst to keep it from sounding too perfect, there is plenty of hit material here and it wouldn’t surprise me to find at least five of the eleven tunes in the singles charts at some stage over the next year or so. But, it’s the unique and sublime vocal stylings of exotically named front-man Kavyern Temperley that really steal the show. If you’ve yet to hear him sing for some reason then it’s really hard to explain, but those that have will know exactly what I’m talking about here. That’s not to say that ESKIMO JOE is a one-man band though as band-mates Stuart MacLeod and Joel Quatermain are among the best in the business too.
LOVE IS A DRUG is the obvious single here and is as catchy as anything the band has released thus far, GAVE IT ALL AWAY brings a little bit of modern day U2 influence to the table while still sounding decidedly like an ESKIMO JOE classic, ECHO will be sure to please fans of the modern KINGS OF LEON sound, Temperley offers up a fantastic vocal on folk based song JUST DON’T FEEL, WORDS OF AVOIDANCE is the closest the band has come in a long time to sounding like they did in the early days and comes off as a pretty interesting addition and closing track SKY’S ON FIRE is a highly melodic haunting track that once again has a sort of modern day U2 feel to it.
Those that are hesitant about checking this one out due the commercial acceptance of the band need to have a serious re-think. Yes it sucks when everybody else is talking about a band that you think you liked before they had even heard of them, but the fact is ESKIMO JOE deserve the attention, and GHOSTS OF THE PAST should really be embraced for what it is….A fantastically written and executed modern contemporary Australian rock album.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10