For three guys deriving from Fremantle Perth, Australia, they were going to need something more then just the average swoop over the heads of the Australian music community to emerge from the undergrowth. Sure up until then, they had a pretty good underground following, but little more scattered across the island continent than the current Bilby population. Their first two EP’s showed them as being sleek musicians and songwriters, but they each lacked the credentials and financial backing to plug it further into the wall socket. It took time and patience (as usual) but eventually they managed to score a deal with Festival records, and producer, Ed Buller, creating their debut, Girl
Girl is basically what you’d expect to see from a debut. It’s not amazing, yet not awful, has some pretty decent tracks, and some pretty mediocre ones. Of these, the first five are really quite wonderful (“Planet Earth”
, “Wake Up”
and “Who Sold Her Out?”
being standouts), deriving their melodies from nothing more then the journey’s of the pop-rock groups in the sixties. They are where you’ll find Eskimo’s minimal catch tunes, laced with simplistic melodic and rhythmic patterns, backed behind some fun lyrics based upon the fascination and confusion found in the young male’s perception of girls; who would have thought! Sure, it’s not all that flattering to listen to (compared to their later stuff), but why would you pick this up if you are expecting a flood of introspective machinations in the form of songs? The answer is you wouldn’t. This is a good album to listen to if you just either want something flowing in the background while doing pointless busy work, or if you’re lonely, and just need something easy going to pleasure the air waves in your home.
Progressively, the release potters all the way along through each song until its ending gathering a few more crafted ideas about the election process in Australia (“Election”
), and an advertisement plug for Kit-Kat in “Sydney Song”
, to try and help improve sales and in-turn, public awareness. The later tracks share a common musical innocence, that's charmed by easy to understand chord progressions, but at the same time it’s what closes the album with an incomplete impression for the band, and their style, or lack of. However, despite the absence of any distinct initiatives (apart from Kevyen Temperley’s adolescent broken sounding voice), Girl
provided them with very good foundations through enough radio airplay to build their career upon, and give a point for the audience to gain a clear insight into the maturity that they have advanced towards. For the fan, and general listener, you’ll obtain a few good listens out of this, and it’s probably something you’ll scan every now and then. But it is likely that it wont be as highly regarded as their two later efforts, A Song is a City
and Black Fingernails, Red Wine
which demonstrate a better approach to personification through music.