Thursday, November 20, 2008

Long time no post

Well, here's my attempt to begin writing again. How about we start with a Eagles of Death Metal cd review? Sure, why not. No one listens to them and no one will find this post. Its a match made in heaven! Or maybe the place with the pointy sticks . . .

And away we go . . .

The Eagles of Death Metal get no respect. Named after a stoned comment while listening to some archly dark metal, “if we were a death metal band we’d be the Eagles of death metal,” they have never been taken seriously. Written off by meager rock minds as a joke band, EODM isn’t one, unless you think quality is a joke. Seriousness has become a pose for many in the rock world, and childhood friends Jesse (Boots Electric) Hughes and Josh (Baby Duck) Homme pose their band as serious fun. This isn’t the Darkness, or Spinal Tap. And with this final installment in the EODM triptych, it’s matured into one of the seriously finest cd’s of the year.

Homme, who is the sonic master behind this party boy duo, is the front man for Queens of the Stone Age. And he’s made every track on “Heart On” a stand alone masterpiece. Pick a song, any song, and the craftsmanship radiates like a 57 sunburst Les Paul. Guitars matter to Homme, and the way he’s placed each rhythm track, bass line, drum pattern and solo lead makes each stand alone, shimmering. It’s the kind of cd that makes it hard to stop playing because you know whatever your going to do after you turn it off is not going to be as much fun as listening to the next song.

Space won’t allow me to pontificate about the beauty of every single rip here but a few mustn’t be missed. (I Used To Couldn’t Dance) Tight Pants’ falsetto chorus “I don’t want to do what I’m supposed to, I just need someone to get close to,” whipped up funk rhythm section, shuffling drums and fuzz box guitar will pull “the ladies” as Hughes likes to say, on to the dance floor. Cheap Thrills, with its Budweiser frogs on steroids bass and scratching interwoven guitars fairly signify the aforementioned song title’s conflicted hedonism. Changing gears, Now I’m a Fool, melodically winks at Steely Dan’s Only a Fool Would Say That, narrating the illusions of Hollywood love while pointing toward a new vulnerability in Hughes bad boy persona. I’ve seen him have bouncers kick d-wits out of his shows for uncivilized behavior toward his female fans, and it’s nice to see that side now appear on record. And the title track Heart On follows up by asking “once your heart’s broken, what do you do?” to which Homme and Hughes answer “I only want some pieces of you.” The sum here is much more than the pieces and the pieces are delectable.

If there is a standout to the cd it might as well be Wannabe in L.A... With a woof and a cowbell the circulating melody runs across the freeways of Hughes story and gives a brief history of the band, one that judging by the black velvet portrait on the back of Homme holding a fork may be done. But they’re not finished. Not as long as there is room on the dance floor.