On This Day: Eagles Of Death Metal – Heart On

Today marks the start of a new experiment in blogging for me – sort of a cross between the initial concept for this blog and the Retro Record Review site it has morphed into. I plan to – as frequently as I can – pick an album that was released on this day in history, preferably one with which I’m at least halfway familiar, and give it a listen before banging out a few paragraphs. The weekly collections will still show up each weekend and won’t include these anniversary retrospectives. Enjoy.
Heart On

28 October 2008

The third album from Jesse Hughes & Josh Homme’s Eagles Of Death Metal was released eleven years ago today. Like an idiot, I had avoided their first two albums because “I’m not a fan of death metal.” For this of you who aren’t in on the joke (which I wasn’t), these guys are to death metal what The Eagles are to rock-and-roll.
Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes is the primary songwriter, lyricist, and lead singer. And he’s a nut. PTSD ranting aside, he was kind of a lunatic from the get-go. Or maybe it’s just a character he plays onstage. Regardless, I find him endlessly entertaining as a musician. EoDM is just a hard-working throwback rock’n’roll band, cock rock with a heart. Full of self-deprecation and myth-making, Heart On collects a baker’s baker’s dozen hook-laden, loud, fun, absurd tunes into forty-eight minutes of pulse-pounding energy.
It’s clear Jesse is doing this for the love of the music. Backed by the rock-solid Josh Homme on drums and Dave Catching & Brian O’Connor on rhythm and bass guitars, he throws his all into each number, occasionally settling into a mid-tempo croon on numbers such as “Now I’m A Fool.” Otherwise, he attacks each song with such abandon that it feels like they’d fall apart if the band wasn’t so damn tight.
After this album, there would be a seven-year hiatus before their next album release and major tour. Since I discovered the band right after this album, I figured I’d never get to see them live. When I finally did, it was worth the wait – one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, and not to be missed.
This album is imbued with the spirit of pure-‘70s hard rock melded with the energy and libido of a punk-tinged garage band. Though it runs close to an hour it’s over in the blink of an eye and leaves you wanting more.

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