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Formed in 1972 and finished by late 1975 without releasing an album, Electric Eels (aka “electric eels” in reference to poet e.e. cummings) gave Cleveland, OH the much unwanted slap in the face it deserved.
While not the first archival release of the band’s rehearsal recordings, Die Electric Eels is the album that should have been. Here, the guitars of John Morton and Brian McMahon explode at their loudest and most abrasive, propelled by the frenetic drumming of Nick Knox (The Cramps) and characterized by Dave E’s confrontational vocals. Take the Neanderthal stomp of The Stooges’ eponymous first album and make it even more primitive, raise Lou Reed’s sneering misanthropy to disturbing antisocial levels, remove the Muppet factor from The Ramones and throw in some free jazz just to be even more obnoxious and you still won’t approach the sheer animalistic intensity of these songs. It’s more punk than the past five decades of rock’n‘roll rolled into a single atomic blast of nihilistic disgust.
Screw the neighbors, turn it up as loud as you want. Get drunk and punch your best friend in the face. Puke all over the apartment and piss off your wife. Tonight is Electric Eels night, baby.
And while you’re at it…
…pick up the reissued second posthumous Electric Eels single (the first is on the LP), originally released in 1981 on Mustard Records. More textured than the album, it’s no less of an assault with the wide-eyed trucker Captain Beefheart jaunt of “Spin Age Blasters” backed with the Velvet Underground-Of Mice and Men-Sun Ra skronk of “Bunnies.” Genius or crap? Both. And damn proud of it.
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