Review: Eskimo Joe's Inshalla
Move over Powderfinger and bow out Silverchair - if there was ever a moment when The Biggest Band in Australia mantle was being contested, it’s right now.
‘Inshalla’ is a gigantic, ripsnorter of an album, equal parts foreign and local and loaded front-to-back with a slew of potential hits. After their foray into the dark, INXS-tinged territory of ‘Black Fingernails Red Wine’, Kav Temperly and co. are back, doing what they do best, matching great song writing with amazing sonic production.
They’ve filled out over the years; adding a bevy of keyboards and extra guitar lines to enhance their already strong sound, but the focus still remains on the uncanny synergy between these three singing, strumming front men. Opening with ‘Foreign Land’, easily one of the bravest moves by a mainstream act in years, what with that bassoon-meets-Indian-snakecharmer opening riff and Led Zeppelin-esque bridge, this album is full of welcome surprises.
Now tempered by girlfriends, wives and babies, the Eskies have penned some delightfully kitsch tunes that are begging to join their older anthems in live sets; among them the three-way pop harmony driven ‘Sound Of Your Heart’ and the similarly uplifting ‘Let Me Down’. What’s striking about ‘Inshalla’ is that many of the songs already sound ‘classic’; the emphasis on hooks is undeniable, and it’s sheer fist-pumping effect almost turns it into pub rock for generation metrosexual.
Where the boys succeed the most is in their interesting arrangements; ‘Falling For You’ comes out swinging like vintage Phil Collins (like, when he played drums) and the harmonic counterpoint between bass, guitars and vocals is at an all-time high across the record. Proof that the best things take time, Eskimo Joe are at their seasoned best here. Expect them all over your radio for months to come. So stimulate the Australian music business; buy this album, it’s actually good!
'Inshalla' is out now.