Guy Lochhead, 11/03/12
Californian band project based around E (Mark Oliver Everett). The band’s sound can be characterised by twinkly bell and xylophone sounds mixed with crunchy distortion of guitars and vocals, and E’s bittersweet, blackly funny lyrics about love, depression and family. The band found a wider audience through being on the soundtrack for the first three Shrek films. I used to like Eels but now I find them a bit one-dimensional. Fame doesn’t suit the band, and E seems to have made some strange decisions (like the ‘Eels With Strings’ live album where he conforms to the ultimate blown-out rock band cliche and performs the band’s songs with a bolted-on string section) about his development from ’90s MTV rock band to above-average indie band who father and daughter can agree are pretty good. The decision to include his songs in the Shrek films was an unexpected and wise one – his music has always had a fairytale quality – but it seems to have upset the direction of the project…

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