Several times in his autobiography Eels honcho Mark Everett bemoans the attitude of listeners, critics and record company execs to his eclectic tendencies.
As a manifesto, it is hard to argue with. As listeners we should be excited and intrigued by artists taking risks and exploring new territory.
It surprises me that the Eels’ fans might have such views of his catalogue. The material across these four albums has not wandered too far from the mean offering.
Sure, occasionally we get a bit more guitar, and the vibe might be more ‘full band’ (such as on this album) rather than ‘one man and a sequencer’.
But, at its heart, there is still Everett and his songwriting; his slightly off-centre perspective; his perversion of a standard imagery.
On this one we get life through the eyes of the circus freak (Dog Faced Boy – which has some great pounding riffs); a tale about that bloke you might try and avoid eye contact with (Bus Stop Boxer); and a nice addition to his autobiographical insights (World of Shit).
Only a soulless exec could deride such endeavours.
File under: The hood that could