Since 1995, Mark Oliver Everett has been keepin’ it eel. That is to say, he is the Eels much in the same way that Mark Linkous is Sparklehorse or that Anton Newcombe is the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Everett, or “E” as he likes to be called, began his obsession with a four-track recording device in his early twenties following an adolescence filled with a juvenile delinquency that only his sister’s guitar could tame. As his songwriting improved, E moved to the City of Angels where he landed a solo deal on Polydor Records. Following the semi-success of two albums, he left Polydor to form the Eels with drummer Butch Norton and bass player Tom Walter. They were quickly picked up by DreamWorks records and released Beautiful Freak in 1996, which birthed a hit song and video with “Novocaine for the Soul,” snagging them a Brit Award as well as many comparisons to both Beck and Blur (perhaps due to the music’s witty lyrical salad and floating, rhythmic grooves). Despite a studio collaboration with some of Hollywood’s A-list session men, the band’s next two albums didn’t propel them into mainstream megalomania, as many had predicted. Their fourth and fifth long players also failed to break Eels into the big top, but they secured the band a sturdy fan base and cult following more loyal than what most artists receive from repeated airplay.
Stream the whole album ‘Wonderful, Glorious’ right here kids. See ya March 7.