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Report by Tina Minster
Eskimo Blonde let's loose on Scotland and then the world...
Mar. 24, 2009
Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to find myself in Aberdeen, Scotland. I took the opportunity to attend a local show and stumbled upon a gold mine by the name of Eskimo Blonde. All natives of Aberdeen, Eskimo Blonde has been together for nine years with some member changes. Vocalist Mike Loszak is a force to be reckoned with. His powerful vocals betray his gentle speaking voice. The best way to describe it is "rough satin;" it's a perfect balance. Looking at songs such as "Trip," "Happy," and "Smile," his focused emotion makes each song sound more like a message directed at one particular person. As his voice slides its way straight into your brain, it's very easy to adapt his words to your own feelings and apply those emotions to that particular person or situation in your life to which each song resonates. Guitarist Tim Bennett loves his solos, and he transfers all of that love into his playing, much to the benefit of the audience. The bass guitar is played by Lee Heineman and has a refreshingly guiding presence, starting off most of the songs and setting the listener up for each aural journey. He plays together beautifully with drummer Graeme Cruickshank as he takes the torch and runs with the drive of each song. Their synchronization and ability to play off each other (their song "Trip" in particular stands out as a prime example) is one of the elements that is pushing this band up and into the spotlight.
The biggest strength that stood out to me was the band's ability as a whole to embrace and exude the spirit of each song as its own independent thought. Too often bands get stuck on one vibe or emotion and limit their music to that one feeling. From that point on, everything they create orbits around that initial theme and it detracts from any originality or creativity the band may or may not have. Such is not the case with Eskimo Blonde. Each song is like a Faberge egg, hand picked and delicately crafted and customized for its respective focal point. They let the spirit choose the sound instead of trying to manufacture spirit from one practiced sound, and it works. While inherently different thematically, each song carries the passion and soul of each band member. Whether fast, slow, happy, sad, bitter, you name it, each song sounds natural and, more importantly, believable.
If I had to pick a favorite song, I would have to choose their song "Happy." It's a giant middle finger sculpted out of tight notes and raspy vocals and pointed directly at that Mr. or Mrs. Perfect that left you face down in a pile of shit. It's a reinvigorating escape from the torrent of whiny emo boys hellbent on crying all of their problems away. Lyrics such as "When you gonna realize that I don't need you? The sun's shining in my eyes so bright, I can't see you" give an empowering feeling of strength and independence that make you feel ten stories tall. With this song, Eskimo Blonde reminds us that sometimes a well-placed "fuck you!" can work wonders. "Trip" is another favorite of mine. My first image is Golden Earring and Fraggle Rock having sex on a bed of cigarettes, but the band quickly gives away their Western influence in a mixture of dizzying guitar solos and hip-shaking riffs. In the song, frontman Mike cries out for all of us to hit the road and escape all of the petty day-to-day bullshit by losing ourselves in the infinite potential and beauty of the world. "I like the girl with the lights in her eyes. Looks like she's having one hell of a night. Always breathing, she's forever believing...She's the one the boy forgot. Checking out for the last train. So take a trip and see it my way." Again, fighting against the common trends of giving up or complaining, the band points out that things aren't so bad in the big picture. If things aren't going well where you live or your situation has you down, there's tens of thousands of other hometowns. A million new beginnings, a billion chances. It's not a focus on running away, but a focus on growth and moving forward. "Well I'm never gonna go back this way...Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm heading to a brand new place, one where I don't feel so strange. Clear air, I got no stain."
The past year has been a springboard for for the band's fame. Recent accomplishments include a coast-to-coast US tour, some commission work for television and commercials (keep your ears peeled!), and a new EP which will soon be available for purchase both from their Myspace and from their upcoming website (www.eskimoblonde.com). This is a band on its way up with no signs of stopping. They're one of those bands worth traveling for to experience one of their shows. Even if it means a five hour car ride across a few of those smaller States, "take a trip" and catch them whenever you have the chance. You won't be disappointed.