Music Reviews

Eels Extreme Witchcraft

(E Works / PIAS) Rating - 5/10

Mark “E” Everett’s latest effort sees him re-uniting with longtime collaborator John Parish to deliver another of those fuzzy, riff-heavy Eels records. It was a style that didn’t exactly thrill me back in 2001, when the tedious Souljacker broke Everett’s impressive opening streak. 21 years later, Extreme Witchcraft suggests little has changed. As he trudges his way through Amateur Hour and the bluesy Steam Engine, it’s clear that Everett remains utterly unconvincing as a hard-riffing rocker. But that’s not to say he’s lost his songwriting mojo altogether. Everett’s talent has always been most evident in his more melodic, reflective offerings; think 2000’s Daisies for the Galaxy, for my money the best work of his career. Even 2020’s patchy Earth to Dora showed enough to suggest he’s got another very decent album in him. This, however, is not it. There are some more subdued moments (the quiet standout Stumbling Bee) but on the whole Extreme Witchcraft is a frustratingly stodgy affair.