“Heart On” by Eagles of Death Metal

Album: Heart On
Artist: Eagles of Death Metal

I first tuned in to the Eagles of Death Metal when they released their first album, “Peace, Love, Death Metal”. I instantly fell in love with the raw energy and lo-fi production values as well as the rockabilly sensibility that I felt I didn’t have enough of in my music collection. The tunes were simple but rockin, and got me moving in new ways. The followup, “Death By Sexy”, had bigger production values and would often walk the line between the old goofy aesthetic from the debut and more serious, darker side of the dream boys. But the energy was still there even in the lowest moments.

“Heart On”, the followup album to “Death By Sexy” has landed at last. Did Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme pull off a third album in a row that will keep us dancing and lovin’ until we can’t dance or love anymore?

The album opener, “Anything ‘cept the Truth” starts off with a cheesy AC/DC spinoff, but lacking in energy. This slower tempo and feel never really gave me the urge to get up and dance. “Wannabe in L.A.” gives the listener a taste of that old Eagles of Death Metal feel with a Chinese food/fuzz rock twist. The next two tracks “(I used to couldn’t dance) Tight Pants” and “High Voltage” explore some more experimental riffs and styles for the usual EODM sound. “Now I’m a Fool” takes the energy and experimentation back down, and marks the halfway point for our sonic journey.

The title track, “Heart On”, starts off on that AC/DC cheese vibe and never really picks up from there. It is a shame that the title track takes the place as one of the more unremarkable tracks on the album. “Cheap Thrills” brings back the playful and goofy garage rock feel, especially with the canned “cheap thrills” call-response. “How Can a Man with So Many Friends Feel So All Alone” has an annoyingly long title, but jumps back and forth between an EODM song and into Queens of the Stone Age territory. Josh Homme’s influence is certainly felt during this song. “Solo Flights” gives that low tempo experimental edge another spin. “Prissy Prancin” evokes memories of the creepy “Midnight Creeper” from P,L,DM as it opens up, but then transitions over into a catchy and simple tune. “I’m Your Torpedo” closes the album off with an urgent surge that tapers off into a whistle and Mr. Hughes giving us a gonzo moment as if we were in the studio with him.

From a fan standpoint, this is an album with lower energy and less frantic sexy silliness. Hughes’ lyrical abilities are about the same, with some wordplay and his familiar vocal noises used. The instrumentation is not bad, the guitar tones are still sweet and twangy and the drums serve their purpose and the bass puts out some smooth beats. They never really match the old sound and feel, and this will surely disappoint some fans. This is not to say that “Heart On” is a bad album, it is just a different direction. If “Peace, Love, Death Metal” was a bottle of cheap wine from the dollar store and a pack of stale cigarettes, and “Death By Sexy” was a shot of distilled vodka and some Newports, “Heart On” is a bottle of whiskey and a meaty cigar. It is a slower, mellower side of the boys that may leave some with an undesired aftertaste.

Heart On will be available in stores on October 28, 2008

Published in: on October 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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