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21. Eels – Souljacker, Pt I



If the Devil really does have all the best tunes, then this has to be pretty high on his most-played list. Buzzsaw guitars knock out a riff of pure schoolyard menace, all bullying and brutish and bruising; shimmying shakers swagger and taunt. A cocky, fuck-you-too eyebrow is raised as the bassline swings through town. And then there’s the lyric: disaffected, trailer-trash teenagers filled with hate, threatening revenge in a way no one will forget on their douchebag teachers and parents; allusions to incest and abuse and murder – Souljacker is narrow-eyed with anger. And yet, despite the grit, it’s also irresistably carnal and libidinous. The primal rock’n’roll stylings do every job they can to make the song feel deliciously, sexily forbidden, and Mark Everett’s low growl/high howl never felt more fitting. The wailing, fuzzing guitars never held so much bile, a background cackle never so snarling – Souljacker is an evil little rocker, and delectable for it.

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