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by Brian Lowrie at 18 December 2020, 9:10 PM

Even though I may have scoffed at the existence of a number of gimmicky myspace-era deathcore bands once upon a time, I have always had an underlying appreciation for the musicians’ ability to have fun with their music. To be frank, I almost miss the days of band names that sounded like mouthfuls of inside jokes, even if I was never a fan of their music (i.e. Arsonists Get All The Girls, We Butter The Bread With Butter, Iwrestledabearonce, etc.). But I can’t reason with somehow missing a passing mention in my youth of a band called Eskimo Callboy, a metalcore band that uses electronic elements that were popular at the time, to make music that you could either party to, or headbang to; the choice was yours. Now, Sebastien ‘Sushi’ Biesler (Eskimo Callboy’s former unclean singer) has decided to continue writing music under the moniker “GHØSTKID” to deliver music that doesn’t stray too far from the path of his former project.

The album’s opener, “FØØL”, does a good job at giving the listener an example of what to expect for the rest of the album. Overall, the sound during the chorus is huge, filled with distant chants and lo-fi build-ups that are worthy of a movie score, clashing with low-end guitars and surprisingly versatile vocals. “START A FIGHT” on the other hand, take’s a more Architects-style approach to it’s intro, and tries to juggle too many ideas too quickly with between it’s rapping prechorus’, radio-friendly chorus’ and rough delivery of the verses with no smooth transitions in between. For a song called “START A FIGHT”, I suppose I expected something darker or angrier in lieu of the party-anthem that it ended up being. “SHARKS” is a song full of good ideas that weren’t set up correctly; The drum-heavy track had plenty of build-up with the help of the atmospheric guitars, but the choice of emphasis on the clean vocals isn’t the choice I would have made personally. This is a bit of a shame too, as the production values really come in nicely on this track, with everything being clearly and complementary of each-other, and nothing being overpowering. “DRTY” feels closer in the vein of bands like Attack!Attack!, relying heavily on synthesizer work and utilizing clean vocals for the chorus. “THIS IS NØT HØLLYWØØD” features Timi Hendrix, a German rapper, and trades off a GHOSTEMANE-style horror influenced hip-hop beats which clash against the metal-core style chorus’, and while mashups such as this normally are well received, this specific formula just ended up sounding confusing.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that will persist through the rest of the EP, as the theme of counterweighting of the atmospheric and heavy is something that should in theory work, but it either sounds a bit too derivative, or it conflicts within itself to the point of being excessively obnoxious. I found this to be a usual issue with this style of electronic-infused metal-core, and it’s something that this album suffers from as well. One of the songs I was looking forward to on this record was “CRRWN,” which features Mille Patrozza or legendary thrash band Kreator, but his utilization of vocals felt out-of-place with the rest of the track, and I probably wouldn’t have been aware it was him if his name wasn’t on the track.

Tracks like “CØLD WØRLD” are where GHØSTKID seem to be the most focused, and while I do have to give credit for branching out and experimenting on the first release, the attempt at writing a somber ballad feels ultimately shortsighted. “ZERØ” is one of the few times where everything seemed to work okay, starting with an enticing synthwave-esque lead and resorting to the otherwise usual structure, every part of this song seems to be much more cohesive.

I’m a little sad that I found this album to be as uninteresting as I did. I try to give all first releases from newly-solo artists the benefit of the doubt, as it usually turns out that most musicians who release their own albums make it a point to distance themselves from the sound their previous efforts were known for. It goes to show how influential GHØSTKID was during his time in Eskimo Callboy,  and I can appreciate what he is bringing to the table even if I was hypercritical out of my own tastes for music. Overall, this music doesn’t do much for me, and I’m sure this is a well-thought out album for the right listener, even if I am not the target audience.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

6. YØU & I
10. ZERØ
Sebastian “Sushi” Biesler – Vocals
Stanislaw “Stanni” Czywil – Bass
Danny Güldener – Guitar
Steve Joakim - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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