There is a sure fire way to get reviewed on Surviving the Golden Age, promote your release as having something to do with Connecticut. Brendan Angelides, aka Eskmo, was born and raised in Connecticut. That is how I got roped into reviewing Eskmo’s new self-titled release.
Not to say that Eskmo is not something I would normally check out. The album is being released by the legendary Ninja Tune; I regularly review their new releases. And Eskmo is being promoted as “a new wave of electronica” which sounds like something I might be interested in.
The fact is when Eskmo is being promoted as a new wave of electronica artist, what they mean is his music is difficult. There is nothing really catchy about his self-titled album. What he does is akin to experimental beat makers like Flying Lotus or The Glitch Mob. He explores aspects of glitch and dubstep while committing to neither.
I look at a track like the album opener “Cloudlight”. The track’s beat sounds like a Neptunes beat being played on a slightly warped record. The disjointed beat makes for an interesting background but the synth bass and dreamy vocals do little to make the track stand out.
The album’s catchiest song is probably “We Got More”. The track has a fairly straight forward beat and a synth-bass line with some meloby behind. But while the track is pleasant to listen to, it leaves the listener craving more development. The track feels like it is constantly on the brink of breaking into a giant Franz Ferdinand-type angular rock crescendo but sadly disappoints when it is content to just chug along repetitively.
In the end, the entire album feels disappointing to me. I never want to say “I don’t get a release” because that is like conceding that I am a bad reviewer so I did some research and read other reviews. I was relieved to find I was not the only reviewer that was not feeling Eskmo. I largely agree with Max Raymond’s review at Musicomh.com. Raymond contends “put this album on in the background and the chances are it will create a nice chilled atmosphere; but that’s it, really. And that’s disappointing.” I could not have said it better myself.
MP3: Eskmo “We Got More”