The Residents
Eskimo


4.0
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
August 2nd, 2014 | 47 replies


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An unconventional romp through the Arctic by one of the most perplexing bands in music.

For a band that has released well over fifty albums since the ‘70s, The Residents have remained one of the most mysterious musical forces in existence, and stubbornly so. Even if you were lucky enough to catch them in concert, their identities would be concealed by either giant eyeball masks and top hats (their trademark look) or some other kind of camouflage. Their constant refusal to reveal their identities is perhaps the most unique thing about them, but that’s not to say their music is conventional in any way. It’s avant-garde at its best: experimental and innovative, especially for its time.

Listening to any given album by The Residents is an unusual experience to say the least, and 1979‘s Eskimo is no exception. If you’ve ever wanted to embark on a wacky, unpredictable adventure through the Arctic, look no further. As bizarre as the album is, however, it does a remarkable job of imitating life through the eyes of an Eskimo. Sounds of people interacting and chanting over the frigid arctic winds gives the listener the sense that they’re actually there in the middle of the action.

Although a good majority of the album is comprised of eerie sound effects, there’s still enough going on musically to please the ears. Songs like the epic ‘The Festival of Death’ contain enjoyable flute sections and tribal drumming whereas ‘Birth’ drags the listener into the icy landscape with its captivating synths and refuses to release its grip until the end. Other tunes like ‘Arctic Hysteria’ and the borderline schizophrenic ‘The Angry Angakok’ are more difficult to digest but are also prime examples of just how damn strange The Residents are at times; both tracks containing the strangest shouting and chanting you’ll likely ever hear.

As odd as they are at times, there’s something undeniably quirky and likeable about The Residents. Thankfully, much of this charm is found on Eskimo and it makes it simply hard to resist at times. The only real drawback to the album lies in its accessibility as not everyone will dig this kind of thing and it takes some genuine patience to sink in. If you give it time, however, the album is an intriguing listen that will only further pique your interest about The Residents. They might have dozens of outlandish albums to choose from, but Eskimo isn’t a shabby place to start.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


4408 Comments


Yay, a new Atari review! I've never heard of these guys before, but I will definitely check them out when I get a chance.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


22700 Comments


This was for Judio's review a random album game. Had some writers block but finally came up with this
so hope it turned out ok. I'd love some feedback!



Digging: Langhorne Slim - Lost At Last, Vol 1

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


4408 Comments


It honestly feels a little shorter than usual, but that's not a bad thing. Overall, I'm just glad to see you still reviewing, man.

deathschool
August 2nd 2014


21927 Comments


Sweet reviewness. Mental pos.

InbredJed
August 2nd 2014


6525 Comments


nice pic for a rev, and a valiant write up.

Digging: Slade - Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

BMDrummer
August 2nd 2014


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yay finally a review for this

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


4408 Comments


Why am I not surprised that you'd dig this, BM?

BMDrummer
August 2nd 2014


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fripp rec'd me them a few months ago, weirdest band i've ever come across

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


10586 Comments


Great work man, I can imagine this wasn't easy to write.

Digging: Travelin Jack - Commencing Countdown

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


22700 Comments


Thanks for the kind words fellas

weirdest band i've ever come across

pretty much haha

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


4408 Comments


If it's the weirdest band that BM of all people has ever come across, I'm sold.

BMDrummer
August 2nd 2014


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

you heard the debut?

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


22700 Comments


Thanks manosg! yeah I didn't have a clue what to say at first lol

you heard the debut?

I actually listened to it before I heard this one to get an idea on their overall sound, but i need to
hear it again. i love the album cover haha

BMDrummer
August 2nd 2014


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

hard 4.5 for me, but yeah the cover rules haha

deathschool
August 2nd 2014


21927 Comments


All I've heard of these guys is the debut and Freak Show. Was not a fan of Freak Show.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


22700 Comments


nice, i'll be listening again for sure. any other albums by them you really dig?

BMDrummer
August 2nd 2014


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

don't know too much about these guys yet, but i dig everything i've heard. check duck stab or third reich n' roll

cryptside
August 2nd 2014


2397 Comments


Nice work, man! Seems like a band that woud be incredibly hard to write about. I applaud you for this one haha.

PostMesmeric
August 2nd 2014


702 Comments


I checked this album a couple months ago and was wondering why it didn't have a review yet. It's pretty impenetrable stuff, though. Still enjoyed this album.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


22700 Comments


thanks Mark! glad you liked it

@PostMesmeric, yeah impenetrable is a pretty good word for it haha



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