One of the few alt-rock bands to transcend past the mid-'90s, Eels’ ornate guitar-based songs and frontman E’s disturbed growl continue to develop on Wonderful, Glorious. “Bombs Away” hits hard at the album’s outset, its disturbed tribal thump owing much to Tom Waits but sounding as though it couldn’t come from any other band. E’s weird musings — “I’ve had enough of being complacent/I’ve had enough of being a mouse” he sings through his teeth — still sound like the scared, secret thoughts of a troubled youth. “Kinda Fuzzy” lets E rap a bit over alt-funk, something most bands couldn’t accomplish, but somehow you follow Eels into whatever weird avenue they venture down. E’s at his best on “Accident Prone,” a dispirited, drumless ballad similar in spirit to Eels’ breakthrough hit, “Novacaine for the Soul,” as well as the warped, heavy psych-funk of “Peach Blossom.” It speaks to one of the nice surprises on the album — an interest in repurposing the lush soul chords, rap-like delivery and heavy fuzz bass of classic soul. Wonderful, Glorious may be an ironic title since E and co. are as misanthropic as ever, but they’ve turned over new stones musically, harnessing that negative energy into something lively and wonderful indeed. And they’re even cheerier than before — “my love is beautiful, it’s here for the taking” E belts in the title track. Though you suspect some cynicism on his part, the passionate way he delivers the line would say otherwise.