Eskimo Callboy – MMXX EP
Century Media Records
Release Date: 11/09/20
Running Time: 20:40
Review by Steven Hooke
Way back in the day, German Electronicore outfit Eskimo Callboy broke ground with viral hit ‘Is Anyone Up?’, a catchy yet horrendously gaudy tome about an early 2010’s revenge porn website that apparently had it in for the metalcore community. It garnered the band moderate success and attention for a style of music that was at an all-time high in popularity. Ultimately though, it was the Asking Alexandria’s, Attack Attack!’s and Enter Shikari’s of the scene that broke through into commercial success with the Germans seemingly fizzling away as a modern one-hit wonder.
However, as it turns out, the group has been persevering in mainland Europe with the backing of a dedicated Electronicore community and are fit to re-debut as Eskimo Callboy 2.0.
Armed with new co-vocalist Nico Sallach, Eskimo Callboy caught everyone’s attention with the unbelievably infectious ‘Hypa Hypa’ earlier in the year. In one fell swoop, the band managed to address nearly every complaint thrown at the Electronicore genre over the past decade – from over-saturation of auto-tune, bland riffs and an over-reliance on the electronic aspect – and produce a well-written, well-mixed, earworm belter that is as much indebted to The Devil Wears Prada as it is to Scooter.
The bar for the rest of the EP then, has been set. And to start with, it holds up pretty darn well.
‘Hate/Love’ brings familiarities of Asking Alexandria on their “From Death To Destiny” run with a strong hard rock vibe strung throughout the metalcore and a chorus fit for Reading/Leeds as much as it is for Download. The ludicrously named ‘MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)’ damn-near reaches the same ridiculous levels of ‘Hypa Hypa’ with the electronics comfortably and properly supporting the slew of power chord riffs as Nico and resident screamer Kevin Ratajczak lose their collective minds, before returning to the world of europop-rock for the chorus.
There is a definite drop in the quality post-‘MC Thunder II’ though. Initial thoughts of ‘Monsieur Moustache’ were that it sounds like a B-side to Enter Shikari’s debut album, which makes sense when you realise that it is in fact a rerecording of one of Eskimo Callboy’s first songs released, dating back to 2010. The lyrics have been updated to make it *slightly* less problematic but the post-hardcore/screamo with a Fisher-Price keyboard yeeted at it mix has not aged well at all. It’s the same story again for ‘Dramaqueen’, another “classic” rehashed with the new line-up and ender ‘Prism’ which features the finger finagling prowess of German percussive acoustic guitarist Tobias Rauscher, is a full acoustic reconstruction of a track from their 2019 album “Rehab”. Weirdly enough, out of everything on the EP, this acoustic ballad is the most jarring thing you’ll hear. After over 15 minutes of dance-party metalcore spanning a decade, to then suddenly jump to sombre, moody balladry is like running track for a triathlon only to find the swimming section will be in a pool of hummus.
MMXX is nothing if not a fun affair. Trying to feel like a nightclub and a rock show at the same time is no easy task, and to pull it off as well as the first half of the EP has, should earn Eskimo Callboy all the acclaim they deserve, particularly when you consider the current music climate. Lyrically, they still won’t exactly be challenging Tool anytime soon. The broken English charm that endeared them to so many in the early days is still there, but so is the “woo! Sex!” mentality from the glory days of neon and black shirts and hair sprayed fringes.
If you can withstand the lyrical choices being made, and you want something to fill the void Falling in Reverse left behind when Ronnie decided to be a super serious and broody Rockstar man, then this new era of Eskimo Callboy could very well be the ones for you.
01. Hypa Hypa
03. MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)
04. Monsieur Moustache
06. Prism [ft. Tobias Rauscher]
Kevin Ratajczak – Unclean Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Nico Sallach – Clean and Unclean Vocals
Daniel Haniß – Lead Guitar
Pascal Schillo – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Daniel Klossek – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
David-Karl Friedrich – Drums
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