(Christmas Pets, 2008)
HOLY MACKEREL! Absolute must-have boot reissue of three post-Eels Dave E. songs. Better than Palin, these! Elect ’em VEEP! Why NOT?! In the scumfreak Electric Eels, Dave tended to project a mix of snottiness and vulnerable bafflement; with “Searching Through Sears” (originally on a flexi back in ’81), any punk leanings get chucked for a full-on frazzled oddity that out-weirds and out-laffs anything else I’ve heard from Cleveland, ’70s onward. Anti-social to be sure, but SMART and FUNNY up the rearhole. And how! The horrors of modern life writ ’n’ sung loud – with a LISP – as only this skronky horn + xylophone-backed goof can do. “Look at this underwear / It’s a value beyond compare / I’ll take it home and set it up in a chair,” he sings as he aimlessly tours the city’s department stores, consumer-nation terror barely tamped down beneath the ridiculous shower-croon pop facade. A riot. Hilarious. Scary. Whatever; it’s the bestest. The B-sides – a surprisingly straight a cappella love-gone-wrong song from a radio broadcast and a rough Eels-esque live track – are nothing to wait in line for, but with an A so swell, who cares? Miss the boat on this one and you better be ready to regret it. Like, for life.