Mark E Everett has created an incredible and varied catalog of music since the 90’s under the band name eels. Although the music has always fit into an indie rock aesthetic, the instrumentation has varied massively along with their live performances.
I have seen the eels play on several occasions and never has the layout of the band consisted of the same musicians or types of instruments. From a two piece to a full string section, The eels sound has morphed and changed over the years to fit the tastes of Mark E Everett. These styles are then applied to older tracks giving them a new life in the live environment every time you see them.
This ability to morph the songs into different styles proves the universal quality of the melody’s and lyrics. Mark E Everett has always spoken for the suffering outsider throughout his career and does so with a poetic reverence that always manages to come across as honest and heartfelt.
An early example of this is the track Guest List from the bands first and self titled album. It portrays a character who’s being turned away from event or club, but this small event is a metaphor for the characters life of being constantly downtrodden and sidelined. There’s a real pain and vulnerability to the vocal delivery that enhances its meaning, Giving the song a poignancy that could be grating from less experienced artist.