Eels : Souljacker

Tales from the dark side of pop...

E from Eels has the potential to be among the best rock stars in the world. Reclusive and intelligent, he falls somewhere between Chris Morris (for comic effect, publicity shots show him as the Unabomber) and - Marilyn Manson ('Souljacker' is inspired by a murderer who claimed to steal souls).

For all that sinister promise, though, E doesn't always deliver the rock nightmare you want. On some pleasant pop songs, he even replicates former chart glories. The baggy beat of 'Fresh Feeling', the child friendly pop 'Friendly Ghost' and the optimistic 'World Of Shit' are all reminiscent of ancient hit 'Novocaine For The Soul'.

But when E loses all hope, 'Souljacker'gets interesting. The record starts with the fuzzy thrash 'Dog Faced Boy', with E raging on his front lawn "You little punks think you own this town", and ends with the shock riffing and Coxon-on-a-bad-day trauma that is 'What Is This Note?'. This, along with John Parish's menacing guitars, sets the tone for 'Souljacker' - a record of small town chaos, serial killing and musical abandon. On 'Teenage Witch', Eels even manage to sound exactly likeSquarepusher .

Scarier than Suge Knight's board meetings, 'Souljacker''s songs rock harder than most of E's nu-metal enemies. But what's really terrifying is that E's just warming up. The next album will be a killer - and probably feature one on backing vocals.

Andre Paine
7 / 10

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