Why? – Eskimo Snow
If you have never heard Why? before playing Eskimo Snow, then I’m sure you’d have thought that this is a band whose antecedents are very much in the Americana or folk rock. That they’ve developed via hip hop (they are on the Anticon label after all) may come as a surprise. Anyway, this is a cracking LP, a classic guitar-based LP, choc-full of wry, ever so slightly psychotic observations, with beautiful arrangements now and again reminding this reviewer of alt-college rock like Johnny Richman, Jeffrey Lewis or Guided by Voices - check the lament of Rose or the backing vocal part in the tremendous Even the Good Wood Gone.
It is a reflective work, there are no burn outs, and this LP’s inherent menace (and a classic New York guitar band sound) is kept under guard. There are hints of something more bittersweet; the opening three tracks are sugar-coated summaries on a life lived: Against Me’s chord structure lends itself to the elegiac. And ‘high school soccer girls’ and ‘masturbatin’’ gets mentioned in Into the Shadows of My Embrace. Oofph. You can almost touch the leaves falling on the basket ball court and the one guitar wig-out on the LP does nothing to dilute the bittersweet feel of the song.
Oh, and stick around for the last track (the title track in this case) as it is a slow burn out of great charm.
This is a tremendous record.
Words: Richard Foster