by James McNair

Birds do it, bees do it, even beardly blokes named E do it...

EELS' first studio record in four years presents E, aka Mark Oliver Everett, as a horny man-wolf. "Got her right here in my sights/Got a fuse that I can light," he drools on feral blues nugget Tremendous Dynamite, but concerns about our host's stalker tendencies ease with That Look You Give That Guy, a romantic slice of vulnerability built on rolling guitar chords.

The record's shrinking violet/rutting stag shifts in mood make for a gripping listen, E conjuring Howlin' Wolf (Prizefighter), then sounding winningly out of sorts amid echoey, spaced out guitars (The Longing). With Fresh Blood powering a Neanderthal lust, and My Timing Is Off packing gentle optimism, HOMBRE LOBO gives us much to ponder upon as it shifts through courtship's different gears.

Lean and timeless sounding, it's also as truthful as Everett's sobering autobiography, THINGS THE GRANDCHILDREN SHOULD KNOW.