DO YOU LIKE ROCK MUSIC?
by DJ Killingspree
WHEN I FIRST VENTURED FORTH INTO MY CAREER IN RAP MUSIC, I was looking for a
type of sound that personified the urban experience: the blood, the sweat,
nay, the stink, if you will, of this "hood" we call AMERICA.
I never found it.
A decade later this new sound, this encyclopedia of love, God, Satan, pain
and heartbreak - this Magna Carta of rock, at last surfaces. You're holding
Welcome, friend, to the hardest rocking substance known to man: 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!
But listen again: E, Butch, and a funky Englishman named John Parish, come
together to blow hard - HARD like a mystical trumpet playing from a hard
rockin' land. HARD like a rock baking in the desert sun. HARD like the heart
of a teenager stuck in Nowheresville.
JOHN PARISH, A PROPER Englishman that knows how to rock, met EELS leader E at
a taping of the British television program "Top of the Pops." The two
continued to meet up whenever they were in the same town and a mutual love of
croquet and rock led to the making of much of the record you now hold in your
hand. A relationship that literally started at the "Top of the Pops"
certainly holds promise, don't you think?
It's been a lifelong dream of the boys to have Koool G Murder involved in a
project. This dream finally becomes reality with this release: Mr. Murder
rocks the bass and keys on several SOULJACKER tracks. Legendary guitarist Joe
Gore pops up on the haunting BUS STOP BOXER as well as the celebratory WHAT
IS THIS NOTE? And isn't that old bass playing pal Adam I hear on SOULJACKER
D'wight Devil programs some crazy shit that will have the kids lining up at
the record store for weeks to come. Drummer Butch, known to many as nothing
less than the greatest drummer alive, kicks his usual ass.
They all played maracas.
And then there is singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist E (aka Mark Oliver
Everett). What is he all about? He has been called many things. One message
board poster calls him the "Godfather to all the babyfreaks with broken
hearts." Ask E himself for the answer and he'll shrug and say simply, "I like
THIS PLATTER IS PEPPERED with interesting characters: ghosts, witches, hairy
boys, driving women and sleeping men. They are the people of these streets we
live on. And they each have a story.
Check out JUNGLE TELEGRAPH. In just under 3 minutes and forty seconds we hear
the story of a man who was born during a terrible storm, grows up to be a
teenage prostitute, kills a man in self defense and flees to the jungles of
Africa to live out his days in a tree. Is it just me, or is something heavy
going on here?
And, hey, THAT'S NOT REALLY FUNNY - is funny. How the hell did they do that?
Have you heard FRESH FEELING? Man, I love that shit. That's a string sample
from SELECTIVE MEMORY, off of DAISIES OF THE GALAXY that you hear. This isn't
the first time EELS have sampled themselves. Back in '98 they freaked me out
when they used the backing track for their old song DOG'S LIFE - played
backwards - and turned it into a new song forward, called EFIL'S GOD (from
This kind of thing goes on all the time now, but I want to go on record and
give EELS their due props. People been bitin' their style for a long time and
that's fine. But show them some respect and they will continue to drop some
serious science on your heads.
How about BUS STOP BOXER? Not for the faint of heart, indeed.
And then there's a little number called, SOULJACKER part I. Warning: remove
sharp objects in the room before putting this one on, it leans toward the
rock end of the spectrum!
And, ladies, don't worry. There are some tender moments here as well. Check
out E telling his lady how happy she makes him in WHAT IS THIS NOTE?, WORLD
OF SHIT, and of course, FRESH FEELING. You'd better bring a hanky to this
WHEN IT'S ALL OVER, I'm spent. I turn off the stereo and sit down on the
couch. I don't have much energy, but there is one thing left that I need to
do: thank these EELS.
Thank you, EELS. Thanks for rocking my motherfucking world.