Electro-Shock Blues Show
What? You know not of the eels? And you call yourself a hipster? Shave off that goatee and logon to buy this, ya prat. The eels are a rush of caustic acid into your ears, brash and literate, reflective and rocking, and totally unlike anything you’ve experienced before. “E” — (singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett) takes grinding keyboards, snotty guitars, and lays atop it all tales of the cruelty and banality of human existence. And makes ya wanna dance. This live record, recorded at points in 1998 while opening up for Pulp, is a great document representing a troubled time in E’s life — his sister committed suicide, his father died, and his mother was stricken with terminal cancer. Electro-Shock Blues was how he dealt with the pain, and it’s a harrowing vision of one man’s hell. Live, the songs are even more effecting than before — some of this stuff makes you wince. Of course, he’s also funny as hell — “Courtney needs Love/And I do too,” how can you resist that? The record includes an early version of “Souljacker Part 1,” which would resurface on the band’s 2001 release, a twisted hunk of musical meddle and burn. The eels are truly one of life’s greatest pleasures.