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Album Review

The Eagles of Death Metal take big steps forward with each of their albums, making their scuzz-rock sleeker and catchier without sacrificing its sludgy hedonism: Death by Sexy added seedy glitz and extra sneering to Peace Love Death Metal's gleefully low-rent Rolling Stones worship, and Heart On ups the ante again. Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme boil down their fetishes for boogie rock, disco, glam rock — and above all, strutting riffs — into its most combustible essence while also finding far more shades and moods in it than they have before. Kicking off with "Anything 'Cept the Truth"'s massive swagger, Heart On is top-loaded with addictive rockers. "Secret Plans"'' climbing riff and "I want what I want what I want" are pure id, and "Wannabe in L.A." picks up where Death by Sexy's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" left off, delivering effortlessly catchy late-2000s hedonism (at this point, "I'm burnin' gas until I feel all right" sounds way more decadent than sex or drugs). "(I Used to Couldn't Dance) Tight Pants" and "High Voltage" are the Eagles of Death Metal at their most louche and kinetic, soundtracking a long night out with grinding riffs and low-slung basslines.

That string of songs sums up the band's slavish, sometimes exhausting dedication to the rock ethos so well that it's almost a relief when "Now I'm a Fool," Eagles of Death Metal's first honest-to-goodness ballad, ushers in Heart On's darker second half. Whether it's about breaking up with a woman, Los Angeles, or both, "Now I'm a Fool" is one of the album's best songs, its drifting introspection and smooth contours making it stand out all the more among the rest of Heart On's hard edges. From there, the album brings back the rock but remains just confessional enough to reveal a few chinks in the band's armor as they dig into loves, friendships, and nights out gone bad. Hughes wonders "what good's a heart if it's not on your sleeve" on the Stones disco-gone-Devo of the title track, while "Cheap Thrills"' guitar squalls stretch the scope of the song's world-weary emptiness. Even the songs with cartoonish titles don't play out exactly as expected — "Solo Flights" sings the praises of masturbation, but with lines like "no one gets to love me," it's not all jokes, and while the final track "I'm Your Torpedo" is a proudly obvious mating call, its hypnotic groove is also surprisingly serious. Fans of the goofy rock send-ups Hughes and Homme did on Peace Love Death Metal and Death by Sexy might think the pair are taking themselves too seriously here, but they add just enough maturity to the mix to make Heart On a consistently great album.

Customer Reviews

All Grown Up

While Death By Sexy was an undeniable progression for Hughes and Homme, it lacked the coherency that made Peace Love Death Metal a classic. I am convinced it was an experimental stage for Hughes and Homme that absolutely needed to happen. Why? Because Heart On is every bit as good as their debut effort for entirely different reasons. How often can you say that about a band's evolution? This is still the Eagles of Death Metal you know and love, but it's also much more. Just listen to "Now I'm a Fool" and you'll see what I mean. Where Peace Love Death Metal felt fast and loose, Heart On feels thoughtful and measured. It's clear from the opening track that the duo had a vision for Heart On and stuck to it. Songs like "(I Used to Couldn't Dance) Tight Pants" and "Solo Flights" prove that EoDM is still the same band at its core, while "High Voltage" shows how far it has come. Another shining example is "I'm Your Torpedo," which would not feel out of place on a Queens of the Stone Age album. You won't regret adding Heart On to your library.


Do me a favor, if you have not bought this album already listen to it through on youtube. Once you start to listen to this album it is absolutely captivating. This album from start to finish has everything I need in an album and more. The guitar has a great late 60s early 70s sound and all the songs are so different from all that crap on the radio. A great album. Instant classic.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

It seems that with each change of season, a member of Queens of the Stone Age is issuing a new album by one of their many side projects, as early 2004 saw the release of the debut full-length by the Eagles of Death Metal, Peace, Love & Death Metal. The group's chief contributors include QOTSA main man Josh Homme (who goes by the alias of Carlo Von Sexron, and handles drums, rather than his usual guitar/vocal duties), and Jesse Hughes (vocals, guitar). Both hail from Palm Desert, California, and...
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Heart On, Eagles of Death Metal
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