New album ‘Heart On’ lacks electricity
General Manager, WKNC 88.1 FM
Hailing from Palm Springs, Calif., Eagles of Death Metal is masterminded by high school friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme. Though Homme’s other band, Queens of the Stone Age, had already achieved widespread success prior to Eagles’ debut release of Peace, Love, and Death Metal in 2004, he has maintained a musical partnership with Hughes since 1998.
First and foremost: Eagles of Death Metal are not a death metal band. Perhaps best summarized as garage rock, Homme once described the band’s sound as “bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals.”
Their debut received favorable reviews and several tracks were featured on commercial spots and in the movie Thank You For Smoking. Their follow-up, Death by Sexy, was released in 2006 and featured contributions from Jack Black, Liam Lynch and Dave Grohl among others.
Heart On opens with the rhythmic clapping of “Anything ‘cept the Truth,” which quickly descends into the treble drenched riffs of Hughes’ guitar. In addition to the opener, Eagles are at their high powered rocking best with upbeat tracks like “Wannabe in LA,” “High Voltage,” and “Secret Plans.”
Of course, as with any other Eagles of Death Metal album, the release is latent with hilarious quips on the nuances of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Tracks like ‘(I Used to Couldn’t Dance) Tight Pants’ and ‘Cheap Thrills’ highlight the band’s authentic brand of rock humor, but neither compare to the majestic ode to self abuse that is ‘Solo Flights.’
Ultimately, the album makes for a fun listen and contains solid tracks from top to bottom, but if you’re looking for that infectious toe-tapping crunchy rock anthem that stays in your head for days, then look elsewhere. There is not a single track on the album that can be identified as a weakened link to the album’s fluidity, but conversely, there is not a single track which differentiates itself as spectacular. This lack of electricity is what ultimately places Heart On behind its predecessors.
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.