For those of us that follow the happenings of the music world closely, it seems there is always a release that involves a Queens of the Stone Age member around the corner. This time Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, alias Carlo Von Sexron, is lending his talents to Eagles of Death Metal, the creation of close friend Jesse "the Devil" Hughes. While some may feel Homme's work here is only detracting from a new Queens of the Stone Age record, others see this as another way for an amazingly talented musician to showcase his ability.
Eagles of Death Metal originally surfaced in 1998 on Homme's Desert Sessions Volumes 3-4. The original manifestation of Hughes handling vocals and guitars and Homme supplying his drumming and vocal skills are supplemented by guitarist/vocalist Timmy "Tipover" Van Hamel. Eagles of Death Metal, by no means a new project, have been following the same formula of infusing classic garage rock with hard rock for years. However, one noticeable change from the bands early material is Hughes' change in vocal styling. While the Desert Sessions tracks contained deep growls, the material on Peace Love Death Metal instead relies on the pleasing vocal harmonies more akin to mainstream rock.
The album opens with the radio-friendly "I Only Want You," a song which could have easily surfaced on Queens of the Stone Age's Rated R. Things continue to roll right along with the first single, "Speaking in Tongues," which makes use of contagious hand-clapping and fuzz-tone guitars that have you bobbing your head from start to finish. Tracks like "It's So Easy" and "Bad Dream Mamma" follow in similar fashion, and with simple and amusing lyrics you find yourself singing along. With Eagles of Death Metal, not everything is limited to rocking; the folk-tinged "Midnight Creeper" is reminiscent of folk-pop music made popular by singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. In an interesting turn of events, the band chimes in with a cover of the Stealers Wheel hit from 1973, "Stuck in the Middle" comically titled "Stuck in the Metal," which many of you may know from the film Reservoir Dogs. And just as quickly as that caught you off guard, you are thrown back into full rock-action with the humorous and entertaining "Kiss the Devil" and "Whorehoppin' (Shit Goddamn)" which show signs of influence from The Rolling Stones. Further showcasing their range, Eagles of Death Metal thrust out "Wasting My Time," which bears a striking resemblance to bar sing-along. Peace Love Death Metal closes out with "Miss Alissa," another prime example of the incestuous garage/rock-n-roll that makes this debut so addictive. The only complaint I can find with release is the recording quality, but knowing that it was mostly recorded without any previous practice or even live, one can't really find any fault with the rawness of the album.
From the opening click of the drumsticks of "I Only Want You" through the witty lyrics of "Kiss the Devil" and concluding with the fading guitar of "Miss Alissa", Peace Love Death Metal is the personification of rock-n-roll. I challenge you to listen to it and not find yourself singing along, clapping your hands, or bobbing your head. Accept and follow suit.
9.5 / 10
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