Promising “all the restrained energy (they) couldn’t bring to the stage” in the times of COVID, the new EP from German metalcore outfit Eskimo Callboy certainly gets off to an energetic start. Recent internet sensation 'Hypa Hypa' manages to provide a simultaneously heavy, catchy, and silly introduction to the band’s latest sound whilst also showing off what new vocalist Nico Sallach can do. The vocal delivery starts strong and doesn’t drop off throughout the 20 minutes of MMXX; it’s a promising first outing for a new vocalist within a long established and often topical band.
The “party hard” theme is prevalent throughout the album’s lyrics, often presented comically, but at times this does begin to feel a little overdone. We’ve all heard an LA rapper rap for five minutes about how much money he has; it’s not anything new, and some listeners may desire a little more lyrical maturity. Nonetheless, if listeners are simply looking for something to drink and dance to, MMXX is as good a candidate as any that have been released in 2020. If clubs playing “-core” music aren’t a thing in most parts of Europe, then after lockdown Eskimo Callboy should definitely spearhead a wave of them.
There is one point where the atmosphere does change, with 'Prism' the EP’s final piece, an acoustic track featuring German fingerstyle guitarist Tobias Rauscher. Normally such a sudden stylistic change so late in an album can be seen as slightly odd or out of place, despite it being pulled off by a number of well-known metalcore bands in the past; but here the band actually do make it work, and it’s a memorable ending to an EP that’s otherwise mostly a blend of heavy and fun dancing songs.
The EP bears all the hallmarks of a electronic-metalcore fusion classic, with strong guitar riffs, a capable vocal performance switching between clean and dirty, and a synth accompaniment straight out of the 8-bit era. Yet despite all these tropes, there are still some fresh elements to the sound that distinguish Eskimo Callboy from other bands of a similar genre. Moreover, if the energy that is clearly audible throughout the EP is what the band had planned on bringing to stages around Europe and Russia this summer, then it seems that the crowds missed out. Either way though, once the situation relaxes and bands can tour again, then the songs from this EP sound as if they are all but set to be solid addition to the band’s live set.
MMXX is out now via Century Media. Purchase the EP here.