Bands that start out in the 90's and gain an honest following are very rare to see putting out albums these days. Usually they broke up a long time ago, the lead singer either committed suicide or overdosed on drugs or they still tour and play shows but they just haven't put out any new material in a while. One of those relics from the 90's is still going strong and that's Eels. In fact, they have a new album out called Wonderful, Glorious and it's definitely a breath of fresh air when it comes to alternative rock.
Lead by Mark Oliver Everett, otherwise known as "E", the new album was the result of Mark jamming with collective members who have funny names like The Chet, Knuckles, Kool G Murder and P-Boo. Recorded in E's home studio in Los Feliz, California, Wonderful, Glorious has a groovy harder rock sound than Eels' most recent albums. Stuff that makes you bob your head with catchy lyrics that stay in your mind, you'll be hearing yourself humming the rhythms after you give the album one listen. It's always good to know that a band like Eels that has been around for nearly 20 years hasn't fallen off the deep end musically, especially when they keep on putting out music that's simply amazing.
By now this part of my Album Of The Week should be very obvious to you. You're probably thinking to yourself, "C'mon Rob, no need for witty introductions. We all know what you're going to do here, picking your favorite songs off of Wonderful, Glorious blah blah blah blah." Well, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Nobody said it would be easy but here goes something:
"New Alphabet" starts off with a riff that's just flat out nasty, then a bunch of loud drums come through and there's even an orchestral break in the middle of the track. "Kinda Fuzzy" features a uniquely sounding keyboard but those drums make you want to move your feet and cut a rug. The title track "Wonderful, Glorious" has funky guitars and rhythmic keys that make for one of those songs that will get stuck in your head over and over again. "Peach Blossoms" definitely has a post-punk and blues influence, another great example of how the drumming on Wonderful, Glorious is purely impeccable. Don't just sit there and take my word on a select few, grab a copy of Eels' new album and listen in for yourself.
Eels will be performing at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston on April 27th and a few days later they'll be at Webster Hall in New York City on March 1st. Two fantastic chances to see one of the most underrated and underappreciated bands of the past 20 years. Until Eels comes through your neighborhood, get yourself a copy of Wonderful, Glorious and give it a listen. It's the sound that your ears have been missing for a long time.
- Rob Duguay