Eskiz — AKIYORUZ (live performance)

There aren’t any garages to play in where they’re from in Istanbul. No matter, this trio bashes away with the same conviction that fueled their garage-rock predecessors, from the Yardbirds and early Kinks up to Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.

This group claims to be psychedelic, aspires to psychedelia, but suffers for the attempt within their recorded catalog within other tracks like Yaratık. Rather, this group shines in its live performance, where they stop trying to swirl and whir and instead just put their heads down and rock. The nimble guitar-bass-drums interplay, the get-out-and-push instrumental attack, and a keen falsetto hook during the chorus of this song appealingly reaches a hand out of the wax and smacks the listener upside the head.

In their best moments, Eskiz grooves like a young Black Sabbath filtered through the millennial lense of rock stalwarts Black Lips or Jay Reatard.

Eskiz, which translates to “rough sketch” in English is a fitting name for this three-piece, you can tell they don’t want to be pinned down into a clearly-defined genre (despite the fact that it’s clear thousands of hours of work and thought have been put into their visual design and overall aesthetic). Akıyoruz, on the other hand, has several definitions, alternately: “we are flowing/ we are leaking/ we are bleeding”, which all fit the mood of their fiery instrumental chutzpah.

Many musicians from non-EN-speaking countries opt to write their lyrics in English, likely in an attempt to widen their potential audience. Eskiz has chosen not to, instead keeping faith that it’s hammering hooks and blazing interplay will be enough to win over a global audience.

This reads as a brave artistic choice. Eskiz is not concerned with pandering to the attention of those who don’t take the time to meet them halfway. (On the other hand, their lyrical attack would still likely be inscrutable, even if google could translate their words accurately)

Eskiz

In the 21st century, no one has time for Keroac, but no one can deny that Beat Poetry sounds a lot better when plugged into a Sunn Model T. This is their intention –they have written their lyrics in a poetic mode of Turkish as opposed to the common usage of the language. This may strike some discerning local listeners as pretentious, but with hooks as solid as theirs, played with such spiky bombast, no one ought to care.

Unbeknownst to most outside of its self-contained geography, Turkey boasts a long history of vibrant rock and roll music, much of it leaning heavily on the psychedelic. Eskiz actively seeks to contribute to this continuum. In their latest album, their meandering overdubs and stretched-to-the-peak grooves, might be an attempt at finding common ground with the biggest underground Istanbul act, the ethereal and swirl-heavy Jakuzi, who have started to win accolades globally with their hazy, spacy keyboard aesthetic. Eskiz, however, shines just as brightly as their globetrotting rivals when they focus on bringing the heat on stage, where their fastball can’t be touched.

RIYL: Early Sabbath, Jon Spencer Blues Explosions, Thee Oh Sees, falsetto harmonies, smokers-who-scoff-at-other-smokers-who-don’t-roll-their-own-cigarettes