Third album by Double Faced Eels takes a turn toward the serious

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Vēl patiesāk by the band Double Faced Eels was certainly one of the most unexpected yet pleasant surprises in Latvian rock music in 2010.

My first encounter with Double Faced Eels was their song “Zilais vālis,” which was a moderate hit in Latvia a few years back. Though the song was catchy, it struck me as one of those songs by a group that, for better or worse, do not take themselves all that seriously. It seems like I had the group all wrong.

Double Faced Eels play in a style that meshes rock music with certain funk elements, somewhat vaguely similar to a group like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Founded in 2004, the group today is made up of Marka (Mārtiņš Gailītis) on vocals and guitar, Ronis (Ronalds Briežkalns) on percussion, Reinis Straume on guitars and backing vocals, and Kristaps Ērglis on bass guitar. Also performing drums on some tracks on the album was Dairis Petrauskis.

Before Vel patiesāk, the band released Zilais valis in 2005 and Kurš gribēja nogalināt Džūliju? Nezinu, bet trāpīja mums in 2007.

Starting with the strong opener, “Tu neesi viens,” on Vel patiesāk the group makes clear that this is meant to be a serious, heavy and even occasionally aggressive record.

To be sure, not all of the album is heavy and aggressive. In fact, one of the standout tracks here is “Ļauj man būt,” a subdued yet beautiful song.

On the whole, the songs on the album do give the impression of sadness and solitude, concluding with the thundering “Vientulība,” featuring Marka howling like a soul in torment. This song, as well as many other songs on the album, features lyrics by Iveta Priede.

Although most of the record is on a quite serious level, the group shows with its last track—a version of the C+C Music Factory song “Everybody Dance Now”—that it still has a sense of humor. Granted, the song is quite out of place with the rest of the album.

Double Faced Eels have made one of the most satisfying Latvian rock records in recent memory. Perhaps in an attempt to prove that they are more than just a band that writes humorous songs, they have chosen to show their “serious” side on Vēl patiesāk. I think it is has worked out quite successfully. The group certainly has a talent for musicianship as well as songwriting. The album was quite the revelation for me, and hopefully for others as well.


Vēl patiesāk

Double Faced Eels

SIA DFE,  2010

Track listing:

Tu neesi viens

Ātrums ir spēks

Labāk bēdz

Ja tā nav


Ļauj man būt

Kas notiek

Laiks ir dzīvs

Mazliet pazaudēts

Vēl patiesāk

Metāla putns



Everybody Dance Now

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area . Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

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