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The Eels : Souljacker/i>

REVIEW: Eels: Souljacker
3.26.2002 by Sean

the Eels: Souljacker [Universal, 2001]

Two words? Kick It!

E (aka Mark Everett) does it again with his band's fourth studio release, Souljacker. Like a swift kick in the Go-Betweens this album will catch you off guard and leave you reeling. I had grown to admire E’s twisted morbid storytelling through such classics as “Novocaine for the Soul” and “Lucky Day In Hell”, or even the painfully cathartic “Dead of Winter”, but nothing could prepare me for this balls-out romp through mass murder and Americana rejection.

This pseudo concept album tells the tale of a serial killer who believed he possessed the ability to steal the souls of his victims. Eerily enough, this is based on an actual American serial killer from the early nineties. Throughout the album he benefit from incredibly hooky bass lines flushed out with lush stoner distortion courtesy of Koool G Murder. These blend beautifully with the offbeat, awkward-yet-still-fluid drumming of Butch (the only other permanent member of the Eels). The sampling on tracks such as “that’s not really funny” works wonders, and E’s Hammond organ consistently provides an almost symphonic quality, bolstered with incoherent fuzzed out rock-and-roll screams, of course.

“Dog Faced Boy" opens the album and pretty well sets the mood for a full-fledged cock rocker. It tells the tale of a furry faced little boy ("Ma won’t shave me / Jesus won’t save me") who grows tired of being tormented and heads down the path of infamy. The album is more than the bastard child of Beck and a drugged up Bob Pollard, however. E keeps things fresh by mixing it up: "Woman Driving, Man Sleeping", "Bus Stop Boxer", “Friendly Ghost” and “Fresh Feeling” are all reminders of E’s ability to craft melancholic-but-appealing ear candy.

To quote the liner notes of Souljacker:

“EELS ARE NOT NEW TO ROCKING YOUR WORLD. Hell, they've been around since the 1900's. You dug BEAUTIFUL FREAK, you grooved to ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES, and DAISIES OF THE GALAXY blew your collective minds. Here's the new sound from EELS - SOULJACKER. And this shit, y'all, this shit is Biblical. At first listen, SOULJACKER purports to rock you and leave it at that. As if that's not enough in these times of corporate-video-product-tie-in-acceptable-to-the-mall-crowd "rock". Yeah, just rockin' it would be more than enough!” - DJ Killingspree

The man tells it like it is.

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