EELS - BEING DEAD
EELS - BEING DEAD
EELS - BEING DEAD
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EELS - BEING DEAD

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Released: 27/09/24

Being Dead knows how to make an entrance, within the first several seconds of EELS, the duo’s new record, the bright, hard-strummed guitar line on “Godzilla Rises” conjures cinematic immediacy, a creature emerging from the depths of the ocean in campy, freaky stop motion, fittingly so. Being Dead’s records are mosaics, technicolor incantations, each song its own self-contained little universe. And while the dreamlike EELS probes further into the depths of the duo Being Dead’s psyche, it is, most importantly, in the year of our lord 2024, a 16-track record that is genuinely unpredictable from one track to the next: a joyous and unexpected trip helmed by two true-blue freak bitch besties holed up in a lil’ house in the heart of Austin, Texas.

They decamped to Los Angeles for two weeks to record with GRAMMY-winning producer John Congleton, writing songs for the record until days before they left. The radical shift in process was welcome - a good balance and a challenge, Congleton helping them find new ways to work and helping peel back the layers on the core of their songwriting. Being Dead has grown from a duo to a trio live, including bassist Ricky Motto (who is immortalized finally on record here, particularly in the giggles on “Rock n’ Roll Hurts”)

The resulting EELS is a darker record, tapped more into the devilishness within, but it’s also a more raucous, rougher ride sonically. There’s heartbreak, excitement, enchantment, dancing we move through it all at a high-octane pace. Falcon Bitch and Smoofy never want to do the same thing twice on any song, and they don’t. From the pummeling garage rock distortion of “Firefighters” to “Dragons II,” which appears in its demo form taped on a hand recorder, it’s unexpected but intuitive, and, most importantly, singularly Being Dead.

Like its animal namesake suggests, the songs on EELS are malleable, the record like slithering through murky waters or strange half dreams, mysterious and beautiful in how it moves, reflective in a wavering sheen. Dipping into each song feels like uncovering a new cavern, plunging into depths unknown but fully open to what will be revealed. On the album artwork, an illustration by the artist Julia Soboleva, there are some weird disparate spectral creatures, a stark glimmer against a cloudy darkness. It’s a fitting encapsulation of Being

Dead, exuding a welcoming, playful energy even if something foreboding lurks just beyond the pale more out of frame that’s left to uncover, no path unexplored, strange and beautiful in the light.