you stay too long until the lights get lonely

Eskimo Joe has enjoyed much success in their native Australia. Debuting in 1998, they went on to release three full-lengths, earning themselves several Australian music nominations and awards and performing with artists such as Muse, Modest Mouse, and My Chemical Romance. Their most recent release, Black Fingernails, Red Wine, is set to drop stateside this September.

Opening tracks “Comfort You” and “New York” have a big sound laced with deep piano that sounds like something 80s goths who’ve ditched the makeup and popped out a few kids could get into.

“London Bombs” is Black Fingernails’ strongest offering, beginning as a piano ballad that later kicks in with drums, strings, and guitar.

The album’s tail end is a bit weird – “Beating Like A Drum” has a set of backing “lah dah”s that are creepy and unsettling, while “Suicide Girl” paints dark lyrics over deceptively happy instrumentation.

On a winning note, singer Kavyen Temperly’s voice is fleetingly reminiscent of the late Michael Hutchence – fellow Aussie and former lead singer of INXS – especially at the beginning of the title track.

Though nothing on Black Fingernails, Red Wine strikes me as amazing, Eskimo Joe has the potential to gain some notoriety in the Adult Contemporary market.

Black Fingernails, Red Wine drops September 25, 2007.
Visit Eskimo Joe’s site here.

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