Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down

If you’re like me and a great majority of people in this great country of ours, you’d never heard of Eagles of Death Metal until the horrific crap that happened in Paris last week. After spending hours glued to my computer, checking every news source I could and overloading myself with grief, I decided to check out the “death metal band” who’s concert got crashed by the ISIL assholes.

The first thing I found in my search was a music video by the band for their song “Complexity“, and some of the comments I read went like this:

Came here expecting death metal, was dissapointed. (sic)

Wait. Why are these guys called the Eagles Of DEATH METAL when they don’t even play death metal?

This is the worst Death Metal band ive ever heard. (sic)

eagles-of-death-metal-bandI guess many young Americans aren’t big on irony. I can imagine the “WTF?” looks on the faces of kids looking for the likes of Slayer or Morbid Angel and finding these guys.

The video is a series of head shots of the duo standing very stiffly and lip synching, wearing cartoonishly large rectangular glasses in most of the shots.  It’s reminiscent of the old Saturday Night Live skit “Sprockets” when Dieter (Mike Myers) shouts, “Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!”

Fans of Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA), Kyuss, and Them Crooked Vultures will recognize half of Eagles of Death Metal as Josh Homme.  He and his friend Jesse Hughes founded Eagles of Death Metal back in 1998, and have assumed the stage names “Baby Duck” and “Boots Electric” respectively for the project. Zipper Down is their fourth album.

The music (at least for Zipper Down) sounds much like “Sparks meets The Hives”. The song most people will hear in their internet browsing is “Complexity“. It’s a drum-heavy, bouncy rock song of the bass, guitar, drums, and vocals type; not really complex, ironically. In “Silverlake”, noses are thumbed at hipsters. “Got a Woman” is a very quick-tempo rock and roll that feels like ’70s rock… like Sweet or early Suzi Quattro. “I Love You All the Time” relaxes things, like a love ballad from the ’60s.

The album continues in similar fashion to the precedent set by its first four songs except for “Save a Prayer”, which reaches into 1980s territory, which would be because it’s a Duran Duran cover. Fans of Simon, Nick, John, Roger, and Andy will cringe, but this version fits the feel of the album very well and while being a purposefully obnoxious cover, it works. For the record, they’ve actually performed the song live with Duran Duran.

The way most of us have come to know this band sucks. It doesn’t even feel right saying that discovering their music is a tiny bit of positive in all the bad, even though it is. Time will tell if their newfound popularity sticks, but they’ve made a fan out of me.

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