Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Eels - Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs Of Desire
Mark Everett’s back catalogue as Eels is, on the whole, a heart-on-sleeve collection - from the trauma and desperation of Electro-Shock Blues, to the epic introspection of his magnum opus, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. Although Hombre Lobo is a concept album, Everett’s troubled psyche is rarely far from the surface. The protagonist’s (Hombre Lobo means ‘werewolf') self-appraisal oscillates from world-beater (Prize Fighter) to deadbeat (What’s A Fella Gotta Do) at the drop of a hat. Alongside E's penchant for mood swings, he retains an ear for devastatingly simple, charming songs (My Timing Is Off). Gone are the sweeping strings of Blinking Lights; sometimes Everett sounds like he’s singing from under his bed. There are few bands that could make such a “regression” successfully, but the lo-fi production amplifies the childlike marvel in Eels' songs. And while it may not scale the lofty heights of its predecessor, Hombre Lobo is an endearing addition to the archive.