Wearing Their Hearts on Tattooed Sleeves
Turns out Eagles of Death Metal are not a death metal band. They are, in fact, a kick-ass glam rock band. Despite an opening spot with Guns n’ Roses’ reunion tour that went horribly wrong (they were booed and Axl called them the Pigeons of Shit Metal, which lead guitar/vocalist Jesse Hughes promptly tattooed on his forearm), they’ve honed their own brand of scuzzy goofball glam. The tongue-in-cheekiness is everywhere; hello, the record is called Heart On. They sport mustaches, aviators, and ooze silliness alongside their sexiness.
Take Heart On highlight “(I Used to Couldn’t Dance) Tight Pants.” A metal riff is laid over a disco drum beat while Hughes’ chorus includes a “tiiigght pants WOOO!” A heavy-handed pinch of Rolling Stones is heard throughout the Queens of the Stone Age boys’ third LP (Note: this is not a ‘side project’ – Hughes says he has two bands and is a musical schizophrenic). Several songs are laced with hand claps and high-energy guitar. Short three-minute songs feature foot stomps and weird percussive elements (think “Honky Tonk Woman”). While no one’s saying they’re overly derivative, they certainly aren’t breaking musical ground here. They take elements of classic rock, modernize it and sexify it like Hot Hot Heat and Louis XIV.
But Hughes and hometown CA homeboy Josh Homme don’t take themselves very seriously. That’s the beauty of this band. They’re hilariously self-deprecating and make a joke of their rock sexy bravado. Check out what they say about Heart On: “EODM’s latest fabulous weapon, a top-secret music missile, a sonic warhead sexually tipped for her pleasure, shot from the deck of USS EODM Mantastic Fantastic.” On HO‘s “Solo Flights,” a glorious examination of self-pleasure, Hughes sings “nobody does me like I do.” The album closer’s called “I’m Your Torpedo.” These guys are nuts and it’s fantastic.
The secret is pretty much out on Eagles of Death Metal. They’ve had songs licensed by Nissan, Payless, Budweiser, Gran Turismo and Epic Movie. But Heart On is their best yet, a playful and partying rock record that makes you want to put on pleather pants and cruise around to disco clubs. “Wanna Be in L.A.” or “High Voltage” will make you dance until you’re uncomfortably sweaty. “Cheap Thrills” would soundtrack your bathroom barfing, then you can get in a fist fight to “Anything ‘Cept the Truth.” Lastly, make up, make out and pass out to the wonderfully slow-tempo “Now I’m a Fool.” Now that’s a night on the town.