->''Life is hard,\\
And so am I,\\
You'd better give me something,\\
So I don't die.''
-->--"Novocaine for the Soul"

Eels is an alternative rock group formed in UsefulNotes/{{California}} in 1995. Contains only [[IAmTheBand one constant member]], the founder Mark Oliver Everett. Other musicians have come and gone over the years, but Everett (affectionately referred to as E) writes nearly all the material. Eels have contributed to many movie soundtracks, including ''Film/YesMan'' and the first three ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' films.

Eels was just chosen as a name because E figured that if you went to a record store, you'd see their albums filed pretty close to the albums he'd put out as a solo artist. Once the first Eels album actually came out, he found out that the "E" and "Eels" sections were usually separated by a lot of albums by The Music/{{Eagles}} and Music/EarthWindAndFire.

The band has been described as a vehicle through which E expresses his innermost thoughts, fears, and desires. This seems accurate, as the melodies and lyrics are generally very personal and introspective (especially on the most recent releases). As E wrote in his memoir ''Things The Grandchildren Should Know,'' each album reflects E's emotional state at the time he wrote the songs. Since E has led a pretty tumultuous life, the albums range from bright and optimistic to bitter and resentful.

Although Eels never really broke out into the mainstream ("Novocaine for the Soul" from ''Music/BeautifulFreak'' was a minor hit, but [[OneHitWonder that's about it for them chartwise]] in the United States), they do have a large and dedicated cult following. The 1998 album ''Electro-Shock Blues,'' E's effort to come to terms with the deaths of his mother and sister, is usually considered his best. The latest album, ''The Deconstruction,'' was released in 2018.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] the ones hiding in your [[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels hovercraft.]]

[[AC: discography]]
* ''Music/BeautifulFreak'' (1996)
* ''Electro-Shock Blues'' (1998)
* ''Daisies of the Galaxy'' (2000)
* ''Souljacker'' (2001)
* ''Shootenanny!'' (2003)
* ''Blinking Lights...and Other Revelations'' (2005)
* ''Hombre Lobo'' (2009)
* ''End Times'' (2010)
* ''Tomorrow Morning'' (2010)
* ''Wonderful, Glorious'' (2013)
* ''The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett'' (2014)
* ''The Deconstruction'' (2018)


!!Eels provide examples of:

* {{Alllowercaseletters}}: The artwork to ''Beautiful Freak'' and ''Electo-shock Blues'' stylized the band name this way. Every album after that (barring some prints of ''Blinking Lights and Other Revelations'') had an all capital logo instead.
* AudienceParticipation: "I Like Birds"
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Koool G. Murder, the on-again, off-again bassist for the band.
* BadassBeard: E, definitely. Also has a lot to do with the ''Hombre Lobo'' album.
* BlackComedy: Particularly the ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos'' parody video for "Rags to Rags".
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The label requested a re-dubbed "clean" version of "It's A Motherfucker", so that ''Daisies of the Galaxy'' could be sold at stores that don't carry albums with explicit lyrics. E's WriterRevolt was to change the title drop to "it's a ''monster trucker''" and add unintelligible mock-CB radio chatter to instrumental sections.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Electro-Shock Blues'' and the ''Hombre Lobo''/''End Times''/''Tomorrow Morning'' trilogy.
** ''Blinking Lights and Other Revelations'' probably counts too with a running theme of E coming to terms with all the things he's experienced.
* CoverVersion: Music/TheHollies' "Jenifer Eccles", among others.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Souljacker.''
* DeadpanSnarker: E himself.
* GoAmongMadPeople: Possible interpretation for some songs on ''Electro Shock Blues''.
* HowlOfSorrow: In "The Last Time We Spoke", provided by E's dog Bobby.
* IAmTheBand: E is the only constant member, writing all the songs himself. His bandmates pretty much just follow along.
* IntercourseWithYou: So, so often.
* TheInvisibleBand: "Today Is The Day" has actor/comedian Mike Mitchell lip-syncing the song while dancing down the street. E gets [[TheCameo a brief cameo]], possibly as himself - he almost runs over Mike in a limo and exclaims "get the fuck out of the road!", so Mike does the rest of his performance on the sidewalk.
* LonelyPianoPiece: "Suicide Life" is an [[TearJerker effective one]].
* LongTitle: "I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart" and "Theme For A Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists".
* LoveTriangle: "The Look You Give That Guy"
* LyricalDissonance: A lot of Eels songs are about death, rejection, or insanity- but listening to some of the melodies, you'd never know it.
** "What Is This Note?" reverses the usual trend for Eels songs: It's a fast-paced song with noisy, distorted guitars and aggressively shouted vocals... But the lyrics are about being happily in love ("The day is new and a good one too / How can I prove my love to you? / I wanna give you everything / Me and the birds, now we're gonna sing").
* LyricalShoehorn: Subverted; sometimes E ignores rhythm altogether, in order to sing the lyrics he wants; especially attention-drawing in "Things the Grandchildren should Know".
* MoralGuardians: In one of the fundraisers for the Democratic campaign for the 2000 presidential elections copies of ''Daisies of the Galaxy'' were handed out for free. The Republican campaign jumped on the opportunity and accused the Democrats of marketing inappropriate material for children, [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids since the album had both a cartoony cover art and obscene lyrics.]]
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Daisies From The Galaxy'' was a more joyful album than his previous two. ''Souljacker'' was loud and rocking compared to his earlier output.
* ObsessionSong: "My Timing is Off" and several other songs on ''Hombre Lobo''.
* RearrangeTheSong: They like to do this in their live performances. For instance, the studio version of "I Like Birds" is laid back and based around acoustic guitar and drum machine, but at concerts they tend to increase the tempo and turn it into a noisy pop punk number. There was also a spell where E would speak the lyrics of "Novocaine For The Soul" instead of singing them, although otherwise the arrangement stayed the same.
* SdrawkcabName: The title of "Efil's God" is "Dog's Life" backwards (with a slight change in punctuation of course): "Dog's Life" was actually an earlier non-album track, and "Efil's God" is based around a backwards sample of it.
* SelfDeprecation: E's lyrics feature this a lot.
* SesameStreetCred: They've contributed songs to the ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' movies ("My Beloved Monster", "I Need Some Sleep", "Royal Pain", "Losing Streak") and the live-action version of ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'' ("Christmas Is Going To The Dogs"). In ''Things The Grandchildren Should Know'', E makes a self-effacing crack about giving his music to any film with a main character who is ornery and green, but also notes that he likes having his songs in films aimed at children because "kids know where it's at".
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Listen to ''Daisies of the Galaxy'' and then put in ''End Times.''
* SomethingBlues: Used a lot, in addition to "Mr E's Beautiful Blues" and song/album ''Electro-shock Blues'', there's "Mighty Fine Blues", "Rotten World Blues", "Checkout Blues", "Grace Kelly Blues", "Restraining Order Blues" and "Paradise Blues".
* SongOfSongTitles: The lyrics of "Hidden Track" are composed entirely of song titles suggested to E by fans.
* TitleDrop: Averted with 'Electro-Shock Blues'', although the album features a title track, it doesn't feature the title.
* TroubledFetalPosition: Averted [[PlayedForLaughs for laughs]] in "Going Fetal".