Inshalla, the fourth album from Western Australian rockers Eskimo Joe, is sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Such a stunning debut is testimony to the band’s enduring popularity. The public’s faith hasn’t gone unrewarded, with the album delivering the goods from start to finish.
It kicks off with the current single, “Foreign Land,” a strong statement with its Eastern instrumentation and hook-laden chorus. The album doesn’t take its foot off the pedal, with the title track delivering another driving rock song. That’s what Eskimo does best, but this disc has its fair share of light and shade. “Don’t Let Me Down” is unexpectedly upbeat. “Please Elise” is another lighter slice, a love song with equal measures of desperation and cheek. “Childhood Behaviour” is earnest without being overblown, a completely convincing tale of a relationship moving from one phase to the next. Equally magnificent is the epic “Losing My Mind,” a breathtaking piece with pounding drums and relentless rhythms.
The world music influences are apparent throughout the album, adding texture without straying too far from Eskimo Joe’s reliable indie rock sensibility. The result is a disc that’s accessible on the first listen, yet a little richer with each subsequent spin.
A number one debut comes from hype and loyalty. But this is one album that deserves its dizzy ascent. Once word of mouth spreads, I’m sure it will maintain its place at the top of the charts for a few weeks yet.