More than your av­er­age Joes

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JARRAD BE­VAN

WITH their ‘‘ dif­fi­cult’’ al­bum out of the way, Eskimo Joe are back to do­ing what they do best.

For any­one who’s ever en­joyed this WA act over the years, their fifth al­bum won’t dis­ap­point with its heart­felt, hon­est tales, sweet bal­lad and the odd rock tune thrown into the mix too.

The guys have said this al­bum was not just one per­son’s vi­sion, it was more of a col­lab­o­ra­tive process than past record­ings.

A prime ex­am­ple of this is Speed­ing Car for which front­man Kav Tem­per­ley had a lyric about a self-de­struc­tive re­la­tion­ship spin­ning through his thoughts when, in a timely text, gui­tarist Joel Quar­ter­main sent him a pi­ano chord pro­gres­sion they fit­ted and a song was born. Ap­par­ently song writ­ing is as easy as that!

There’s a lot of lost love themes go­ing on through­out the al­bum but Tem­per­ley is writ­ing from a new per­spec­tive. In­stead of first per­son ac­counts of things hap­pen­ing in his life, he has broad­ened the scope and looked for in­spi­ra­tion out­wardly in­stead of in­wardly.

The voyeuris­tic Itch is about two of Tem­per­ley’s friends who went through a bad break-up with the fe­male chas­ing her dream to the detri­ment of her part­ner.

On Words of Avoid­ance they tell an un­com­fort­able tale about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. It’s a sub­ject that is never eas­ily tack­led but Eskimo Joe do a stel­lar job of paint­ing a pic­ture here.

It’s one of the bet­ter songs they’ve ever writ­ten.

When We Were Kids is a re­flec­tive, som­bre bal­lad look­ing back on child­hood love with rose-coloured glasses. It’s the re­strained pi­ano line that makes this one purr. The song feels so clas­si­cally Eskimo Joe that it is a shoo-in to make the cut for their Great­est Hits al­bum, when that day comes. It could fit com­fort­ably on to their sec­ond or third LP, maybe even on their ex­per­i­men­tal, East­ern-in­flu­enced wacky fourth out­ing.

The shim­mer­ing gui­tars on Love Is A Drug are a per­fect match to the song’s lyrics about the lust and elec­tric­ity of new love.

Song six shares the al­bum’s ti­tle and refers to ex­or­cis­ing re­la­tion­ships. It’s one of the harder-rock­ing tunes and sounds like it’ll be­come a new favourite at live shows.

In Gave It All Away the singer looks at younger peo­ple and sees the mis­takes he used to make. It’s in­ter­est­ing to hear a writer, who Aus­tralians of a cer­tain age have grown up with, turn­ing a cor­ner and find­ing new ways to see the world.

Over a qui­etly strummed gui­tar on Just Don’t Feel, Tem­per­ley ex­plains what it’s like to spend years and years telling the world your se­crets, it’s the price he’s paid for his art.

ESKIMO JOE Ghosts of the Past

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