Saturday, March 14, 2009

What's in a name? Confusion sometimes.

Well, they aren’t an Eagles cover band and they don’t sound like Cannibal Corpse or Cradle of filth. They’re just...well, they’re just “the Eagles of Death Metal” (EODM).

The band, led by Jessie “The Devil” Hughes, has made quite a name for itself. They first jumped into the Los Angeles rock scene riding the coattails of their producer and part-time drummer, Josh Hommes, of Queens of the Stone Age.

How can I describe this band? Okay, take a few LPs from the 70s: a little Bad Company, some Canned Heat, a bit of T.Rex and a touch of Zappa” and you get something close to what these guys create musically. Now, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn entertaining.

So, what make EODM glam-ish? Well, besides Jesse Hughes’ over-enthusiastic performances on stage, their act is woven around a music that is stuffed with pure, sweet, ultra-hip glitter vivaciousness. That is, the music is about as glitter as glam can get. Songs express a taste for sex, drugs, fame, androgyny, and boogeying. last time I checked, these words were pretty much the definition of glam (See last week’s post if you don’t believe me, sucka'). When asked about the bands influences, Jesse Hughes always places an emphasis on the importance that early to mid 70s rock and glam rock music play in their approach to music.

Glamtastic Review: The album I’d like to have a look at today is EODM’s first, entitled “Peace, love, and Death metal”. What do we have here? The album starts out with the wispy sighs and chunky power chords of “I only want you”. This track was the first single released from the album and it sounds kind of like a sped up “Time of the Season” by “The Zombies”, though the chorus of the EODM tune isn’t nearly as good of course.

The second track, “Speaking in Tongues”, is one of my favourites. The intro, which is reused as a sort of instrumental chorus, is damn catchy. The song is about the urge to dance and that is all you need to know.

A couple other songs that really clung to the ear were “So easy” and “Bad Dream Mama”, both of which made good use of cool, laid back percussion and soothingly simple guitar solos.

The band even manages a half-decent cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You”, relabelled “Stuck in the Metal”, a tip of the hat to the music that inspired the band.

I think what really makes this album fun, even on multiple listens, is the effort(?) placed into keeping the album raw. The record almost sounds like a crappy demo...but in a good way. That is, They’ve kept a few outtakes and little conversations here or there in between tracks. I guess it’s just an element that made me feel more involved in the album, like I was sitting behind the mixing board, listening to the group banter.
What I Like About the Album:

-Songs about dancing made me think about dancing.
-The guys don’t go out of their way to seem showcase their musicianship, but the album is still ridiculously catchy because of its simplicity.
- These lyrics: “I said HO! I got this feeling and it's deep in body, It gives me wiggles and it makes my rump shake”.
- The outtakes and one-liners between tracks.

What I Don't like About the Album:

-“Witchy Woman”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Take it Easy”, and “Hotel California” not on this record (joke).

Verdict: There isn't much that I can say negatively about the album, I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Peace, Love and Death Metal" comes off sounding unfinished or raw but with today's overly produced music, it's a welcomed contrast. It's a good listen if you're interested in an updated glam era sound.
4/5 bottles of your mother’s make-up

"Speaking in Tongues" live on Conan O'Brien. This is unfortunately the best copy I could find of this performance...but it's a good one. See if you can spot the back-up clappers and their nifty mustaches.

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