The dashed hopes of continuing the steady conquest of the world by touring were crushed in mid-air by the global lockdown measures for most bands in spring 2020. ESKIMO CALLBOY was one of those bands, but instead of falling face-down in the dumps, these German metalcore humorists retreated to the studio. In addition to crafting a few new singles, they gave a facelift to a choice selection of their old bangers, introducing their new clean vocalist Nico Sallach, who formerly fronted TO THE RATS AND WOLVES. The new EP, ”MMXX,” was released on 11 September 2020 via Century Media Records and it proved to be yet another prime example of the band’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach to the genre – a restless mix of crunchy metalcore, comedy rock, and a hint of EDM. It radiates with the aura of ASKING ALEXANDRIA or ATTACK ATTACK! having watched one too many episodes of The Benny Hill Show, what with the lyrics plunging into such delicate themes as getting drunk, partying, and sex. The band itself has tagged its signature sound as ”porn metal” and the new EP is endorsed in the band’s official website as containing all the restrained energy that they had not been able to let loose on stage because of these weird times. Indeed, the new EP comes off balancing on the edge of ridiculous and serious with the restlessness of a bunch of sugar-drunk toddlers. The lyrics are super-charged with clichés and stereotypes of the controversial kind, hence easily mistaken for being misogynist, homophobic, or even misanthropic – unless you have been exposed to any of the band’s music videos, obviously; ESKIMO CALLBOY has a distinct knack for cracking a good number of self-deprecating jokes, suggesting that their humor is not intended to put anyone in harm’s way as puerile and questionable as it may seem at times.
The EP opens with the brand new track, ”Hypa Hypa,” which incorporates modern EDM in a metalcore setting, in turns resorting to the signature ruses of the famed Italian DJ/producer, GIGI D’AGOSTINO, and the kajal-eyelined emo-rock of, say, the late-1990s Finnish teeny-poppers, THE RASMUS. I must admit that there’s something strangely endearing in this sonic mixture. The music sounds as if blissed-out on the hungry freedom of youth. I guess ”synthcore” is the vernacular term for this sort of musical endeavor and, in moderation, it works wonders in pepping up one’s spirits. I wouldn’t probably play metalcore to my elderly mother, especially not ESKIMO CALLBOY, but as a casual musical escort for a Friday night, after an exhausting day at the office, this kind of low-brow humor paired with metalcore aerobics should hit the nail on the head and take the edge off the dismal grind of my everyday routines.
Before embarking on the journey down the memory lane with the reworkings of the band’s old material, the new EP introduces two more new songs, ”Love/Hate” and ”MC Thunder II (Dancing Like A Ninja).” The latter is a sequel to a song on their 2017 album ”The Scene” and it’s got some nice ”hoover” synth riffs that echo the sonic sentiments of vintage hard-house hits from the likes of MAURO PICOTTO. The first-mentioned is another fresh emo-rock donut from the oven. ”Love/Hate” resonates with maybe a bit more serious tone, in spite of treading into the aesthetic realms of the American electronic dance music duo, LMFAO. These two acts might actually have more in common than first meets the eye. LMFAO‘s huge tongue-in-cheek hits such as ”I’m in Miami Bitch” and ”Sexy and I Know It” could easily fit onto any ESKIMO CALLBOY album with a punchy metalcore treatment.
The new versions of the band’s old metal-schlagers span across their entire career with the songs, ”Dramaqueen” and ”Monsieur Moustache,” dating back to the eponymous 2011 debut release. ”Prism” was originally released on the band’s previous album ”Rehab” in 2019. The new version features the signature percussive fingerstyle of German guitar-virtuoso Tobias Rauscher. These reworkings may not exactly offer any revolutionary new insights to the band’s longtime fans, but I’m sure they provided a convenient way for the band to introduce their new member. The creamy clean-vocal passages delivered by Sallach blend in nicely with the band’s toddler-frenzied metalcore workouts that incorporate the foolish, the obscene, and the brutal. ”MMXX” by ESKIMO CALLBOY is a welcome new release manifesting the importance of not taking yourself too seriously, especially in these depressing times of poignant uncertainty.
Written by Jani Lehtinen
- Hypa Hypa
- MC Thunder II (Dancing Like A Ninja)
- Monsieur Moustache
- Prism (feat. Tobias Rauscher)
Nico Sallach – clean vocals
David-Karl Friedrich – drums
Daniel Klossek – bass
Pascal Schillo – rhythm guitar
Daniel ”Danskimo” Haniß – lead guitar
Kevin Ratajczak – unclean vocals, keyboards
Century Media Records