Review ·

Side projects were never meant to last as long as the Eagles of Death Metal has. A former vehicle for Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, the Eagles of Death Metal are turning into a veritable Frasier of rock spin-offs. The band's longevity is made all the more baffling by its unlikely circumstances: frontman of a top-five rock band playing drums? In what is essentially a joke band? You call that a formula for success?

The fact that the Eagles of Death Metal made it to three albums -- with a slew of critical accolades, devoted fans and even chart success along on the way -- is nothing but a testament too the enduring popularity of balls-out rock ‘n’ roll. Well, almost nothing. In the early part of this decade, garage-rock revival was in full force and featured a lot of bands that took themselves way too seriously. The need for a sillier garage-rock band, one more “Brown Sugar” than “Wild Horses,” was at a premium.

 

The role suited Homme well, and even more so his mustachioed counterpart Jesse Hughes. Out of that collaboration, we get an excellent and still underrated debut, Peace Love Death Metal, and the more revered but overrated Death by Sexy. The third album of the formula, the lovely-titled Heart On, shows that the Eagles of Death Metal have reached their limits, but not without a noble effort to keep on rockin’.

The first single, “Wannabe in L.A.,” proves that the Eagles of Death Metal are still smarter than your av-e-rage joke band, though not by much. The most telling early track of Heart On, however, is opener “Anything 'Cept the Truth.” The Eagles of Death Metal are an anything-goes kind of band, with only one thing not being allowed: taking things too seriously. For better or for worse, it’s as good a thesis statement as any.

The only problem with this thesis is that garage-rock revival is no longer in quite such a demand for ridicule. A second wave of revivalists has emerged: bands like the Black Lips, the Ponys, and Deerhunter. These bands don’t take themselves quite as seriously as, say, the Strokes or the Black Keys, but they still produce some music that may actually mean something important to people’s lives. As a result, the spoofier tracks on the album (especially “High Voltage,” which almost reaches Bloodhound Gang-level buffoonery) are send-ups looking for a subject to send up. In the end, is just seems like the band is spoofing themselves, or at least its tired formula.

Perhaps realizing this problem, the Eagles of Death Metal made the second half of Heart On much moodier, maybe even a little downbeat. When I first heard “Now I’m a Fool,” I thought I was just getting a song to keep us from overloading on the harder rocking stuff (think a poor man’s “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”). It’s somewhat of a surprise to see that it’s actually a tone-setter for the rest of Heart On’s minor-key-laden second rush. It’s certainly a surprise, and one that doesn’t entirely work. But the band gets points for trying. When you compare them to another High Voltage-referencing band currently in the news, trying something new is no small accomplishment when your goal is to stay silly.

  • Anything 'Cept the Truth
  • Wannabe in LA
  • (I Used to Couldn't Dance) Tight Pants
  • High Voltage
  • Secret Plans
  • Now I'm a Fool
  • Heart On
  • Cheap Thrills
  • How Can a Man With So Many Friends Feel So Alone
  • Solo Flights
  • Prissy Prancin'

Cock-rock's greatest pastiche artists/hucksters, Eagles of Death Metal, return for a third album on the 70's stoner metal revival train with Heart On. First single "Wannabe in L.A." is all you really need to know what you'll be dealing with on Heart On at large: lots of sloppy and bludgeoning powerchord riffs, "wah hoo's" and "ooh's" by the ton, and puns at every turn. Expect at least seven songs about chicks, three songs about dudes and chicks, and then another song or two about chicks.


 

These Are Powers - Taro Tarot This Is Radio Freedom This Is Radio Freedom

Ok, Peace Love is in my top 3 albums of all time, and Death By Sexy is *easily* in the top 20.
I am halfway through my first listen of Heart On and I have to say...thank god I found Peace Love before this came out.

It isn't "bad" by any means and it is still light years better than 90% of the crap I avoid on the radio. But...I don't know, it wasn't even until Anything 'Cept the Truth that I would have even said this was a EODM album and Wanna definately has their 'feel'...

But, I don't know. Only Want You. Whorehoppin'. I Want You So Hard. Chase the Devil. Solid Gold...Those songs could have altered my life as a teenager just as dicovering the Sex Pistols and the Misfits did. This album? I hate to say it, but it may end up on my "when I am really tired of hearing everything else" SD card.

gh0st

These two guys that have written the reviews are speaking baskets of crap!

Its another success by EODM, this album rocks. They have grown and make you want to boogie and have fun, and this album does exactly that.

I recommend it. Five stars...buy it!

rocknrolla

That was the whitest rock and roll review I've ever read. Frasier?? Gimme a break, buddy, you don't know music like you think you do. Viva Queen Bee and Baby Duck.

mongoloid

Oh, and as for that first commenter: What kind of fool gets online and starts reviewing an album HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST LISTEN!? No respect at all.

mongoloid

This just goes to show that critics don't know dick about rock n roll, this CD is straight-up rock, with the heavy use of pedals...It's good to see a band this badass still evolving and making good tunes. And it's a good thing I don't listen to whiney ass teenagers who listen to half an album huh? I recommend you go back to the basement and learn the rules of rock and then emerge 10 years later with a little knowledge...This album is full of balls, something that the emo-crowd needs to buck up and listen to, instead of being all senstive about the girl who broke up with them after 2 weeks of "unconditional love"...life ain't that bad losers!!

DZA-ATL

I'm with rocknrolla, mongoloid, DZA-ATL. This stuff is balls to the wall rock. You cant help but feel good when you listen to this.

Daz

Somebody give these boys their distortion pedals back! This s--t is light, clean, and weak on the stomach. If this album were a penis, it would be the equivalent of a

Dirty Doug Childers

This has a lot of cool songs on: anything 'cept the truth, cheap thrills, i'm your torpedo, wannabe in LA, secret plans....

rock greatness

WAZ

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