Eskimo Callboy – The Scene

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributors/labels: People Like You Records/Century Media Records
Distributor/label URLs: www.peoplelikeyourecords.com/www.centurymedia.com
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://eskimocallboy.bandcamp.com/releases
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/eskimocallboy/

Band line-up:

Sushi – Vocals
Kevin – Vocals
Daniel – Guitar
Pascal – Guitar
Daniel – Bass
David – Drums

Tracklisting:

1: Back in the Bizz
2: MC Thunder
3: The Devil Within
4: Banshee
5: The Scene feat. Front
6: VIP
7: Shallows
8: Nightlife feat. Little Big
9: X
10: New Age
11: Frances
12: Rooftop
13: Calling

Review:

Eskimo Callboy are a six piece modern metal band from Castrop Rauxel. Not only have they made a substantial impact in their country of birth, Germany, they have also had great success internationally; they have toured Europe with Callejon, Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch. Their two releases prior to their latest effort, ‘The Scene’ made the German Top Ten Album Charts, in fact. What about The Scene, itself? Well, it was recorded and mixed in a home studio, then it was mastered with Aljoscha Sieg, a man who has worked with Nasty and Any Given Day.

Whilst EC combine the power of FFDP and the consonant, people-pleasing melodies and euphoric anthems of later Papa Roach, they don’t limit their sources of inspiration, there. They seem to have been influenced by the simple downtuned riffing of Murderdolls, that groove right down into the bowels. EC’s ‘Back In The Bizz’ has a guitar part that is quite similar to the MD’s ‘Chapel of Blood’, for example. Sometimes semi-atonal primal patterns bring to mind Korn. That’s not to say everything is simple here, however. There are many layers throughout ‘The Scene’. Complex keyboard parts blend with the more traditional instruments in a way that is stylish and highly musical. The techno style drum loops sometimes employed are Rammstein-esque, though the mood in ‘TS’ is significantly brighter than the works of the industrial superstars.

A more obvious influence on EC is Marilyn Manson. The former’s ‘The Scene Feat. Fronz’ has a catchy chorus that is almost identical to the latter’s ‘mOBSCENE’. Not just in melody and rhythm, but also in its choice of performers – very young women. The following number, ‘VIP’ has a sleazy, swinging beat, bass line and riff along with hedonistic lyrics. (Sound familiar?) However, EC’s trademark positivity takes the freakish legend’s music into a completely new direction. Perhaps unfortunately, the vocals throughout ‘TS’ are somewhat lacking in character and seem to be overly commercial. You can expect clean singing mixed with shouts in that way you’ve probably heard a million times. However, the electronic effects sometimes applied to the words, take their poppyness to a further level than many of their contemporaries.

Clearly Eskimo are ambitious with their writing approach, but on rare occasions, there is so much going on in the music, that one’s brain is unsure what to listen to. The result is a very mild musical chaos that evokes occasional feelings of annoyance. ‘The Scene Feat Fronz’, for example has a recurring, distracting sample that does’t really add anything. But that’s a nitpick; perhaps the greatest flaw of this album is the predictability that quickly emerges. A wider variety of moods demonstrated would be greatly appreciated. It seems to be ‘party, party, party’, with these people and little else. (Apart from in ‘Rooftop’ that is, which is mostly plain angry). Furthermore, there are no surprises with the production as it is very safe and polished. Buy this music if you are a fan of the genre, but perhaps not if you are feeling too adventurous.

Review by Simon Wiedemann 

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