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The Residents - Eskimo CD (album) cover


The Residents



3.87 | 92 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hmmm, The Residents - if 'Progressive Rock' signifies boundary pushing, uniquely structured and crafted music (and then some), then these one-eyed monsters represent quite the summit. Flipping through a crate of LP's at a record fair, the four 'eyeball guys' artwork caught my eye. There were others, but this album looked compellingly weird. Or weirdly compelling. And the record is white. Either way, this is really different. The premise is the life-death cycle of the Eskimo. The inner sleeve contains amusing Eskimo information which is both believable and un-believable - 'A menstruating woman is not allowed to go outside without first bathing in the urine of a child'. 'Putrefied seal is a delicacy', 'Sharing of a wife is a sign of friendship' but then there's 'There's no theft, but murder is common' !!!!!!! Not sure if the instrumentation is that of the list, sounding like traditional Eskimo creations (or a convincing hoax ??) - 'Pooeye', a 3 - 5 note flute made from hollowed whale or walrus bone - 'Kooa', a plucked string instrument made of seal gut stretched over a dog skull sounding board......many others. The band has the help of CHRIS CUTLER (Henry Cow, Art Bears, most all R.I.O.) with 'precision drumming' (drums are sparse and subtle) and DON PRESTON (of Zappa's Mothers of Invention) providing 'inspired synthesising'. This 'music' sounds very Arctic, it's mostly atmospheric and textural, with some babbling and infant bleating in places. Wind blows through some tracks and there's some elaborate percussion here and there. Some of the 'Eskimo banter' is quite funny actually, more like Cave-Dwellers from the Peleolithic era. The 2 long pieces on side 2 are the most engaging, with the final minutes of 'The Festival of Death' sounding magnificent and celebratory - great tuned percussion arrangement and synth/flute melodies. Is this some kind of joke, or a well thought out conceptual piece of art ??? You decide. 4 stars.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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