Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eskimo Joe - A Song Is A City


OK, here's my theory about Perth.  The Westralian capital was accidentally built on a convergence of musical ley lines, so that anyone who starts a band here is instantly three steps in front of anyone else in the country.  How else can you explain the proliferation of artists from a city that has a quarter the population of Sydney and yet seems to spew forward the most amazing talents?

Eskimo Joe is a case in point.  Quite simply, neither YourZ or Mine(self) can understand why they're not headlining stadiums across the world. Kayven Temperley's voice is outstanding, thier compositions and arrangements are truly world-class, and while I can't really remember their live performance - I haven't seen them since 2005 Big Day Out - YourZ assures me they deliver as well in the flesh as they do on CD.  Although I was momentarily stumped when track 3 - Life is Better With You - sounded just like 72 by Turin Brakes.

But all I can say is world, get amongst this band.  They're well worth it.



My theory about Perth is slightly different to Mine.  Primarily, I think it is the isolation factor, with Perth being particularly remote.  Bands there don't know much else except each other.  Apart from the huge acts who can afford to get tour there, they only really have each other.  This makes for a particularly supportive music community and inspires all to greater heights.  Either this or they want so badly to get over to the other side of Australia to play, they work doubly hard to 'make' it.

Whatever it is, I'm glad of it.  Some of my most favourite Australian bands found their feet in Perth, including INXS (as the Farriss Brothers), Karnivool, Jebediah, The Sleepy Jackson and this band, Eskimo Joe.  While I was writing the recent Grant Lee Buffalo review (see it here), I commented to Mine that they reminded me of someone else and lo, here it is.  The comparisons are the wide sounding, epic quality both bands have, along with detailed arrangements and awesome production.  But it is there the comparisons end.

Eskimo Joe are a natural successor to bands like the aforementioned INXS, sounding quintessentially Australian yet more so at the same time.  A Song Is A City is a pearl of an album - every track on this album is a fucking winner with superior musicianship, killer vocals and arrangements as well as lush production.  As Mine says, why Eskimo Joe aren't fucking enormous around the world is a big question and the answer is beyond me.  

VERDICT: TURN IT UP, tell your friends, buy their back catalogue and make them HUGE!

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In our collection we also have Black Fingernails, Red Wine

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