Eels Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire

Eels Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
Inspired by Mark Oliver Everett's astounding beard growth, Eels' seventh album is something of a concept record. Everett took a look in the mirror one day while brushing his teeth and saw something lupine within himself. Inspired, he set to work on what is the band's first collection of new material since 2005's Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, crafting a dozen tunes written from the perspective of the Souljacker era character "Dog Faced Boy." The record's first half swings back and forth between dirty R&B tunes of lustful desire (first single "Fresh Blood") and lilting songs of ache and longing ("That Look You Gave That Guy"), juxtaposing one with the other. But while the individual songs work on their own, the simple guitar/bass/drums instrumentation and shifting tempos ruin the overall flow, a shame since it's really a backend-loaded record. Eels have always catered to a small but dedicated group of fans, and while Hombre Lobo will surely satisfy them, it makes no effort to open the doors to the uninitiated. (Vagrant)