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Eagles Of Death Metal
Heart On Toby Cook , January 12th, 2009 12:40

You know that feeling you get when you’re cruising down the Sunset Strip in your lipstick red 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner, lazily dragging on a Marlboro, checking out barely legal, leggy, fishnet wearing blondes on your way to check out the your well connected mate's blues rock band at the Viper Room? No? Oh.

Well, how about that certain sensation that overcomes you when you’re screaming towards the sunset down Route 66, top down in your gun-metal grey 1959 Ford Thunderbird convertible, nose full of Columbia’s finest export with a leather and denim clad, passenger draped across your back seat?

Me neither. And, I suspect, neither do The Eagles Of Death Metal. But who cares, for one listen of Heart On - the latest offering from Josh Homme’s ‘don’t call it a side project’ side project - and you’re instantly transported. If ever there was a soundtrack to an imagined vision of the petrolhead-cool, gaudy, macho element of the American dream, then this is it.

Allegedly the moniker Eagles Of Death Metal comes from the aspirations of Jesse Hughes (Homme’s writing partner in the group) to write music that sounded like The Eagles crossed with Death Metal. Thankfully, they sound nothing like this – although a good listen of 2004’s Peace, Love, Death Metal does reveal initial flirtations with this idea.

Instead, with Heart On Eagles Of Death Metal deliver heavily fuzzed guitar licks, tonnes of metronomic cow bell/wood block led minimalist drumming and vocals that sound like they’re being delivered by a porn star (one look at Jesse Hughes’ ‘tash and you’ll know what I mean) – not to mention the fact that they appear to have been written by one.

Lead single ‘Wannabe in L.A.’ actually makes you want to be in L.A., whether that be as an actual wannabe losing their innocence in grot valley, or just on the simple level of touristic visit. ‘High Voltage’ is, well, honestly it’s a great sex tune.

The sleazy, guilty pleasures of ‘Prissy Prancin’’ makes for another highlight, but the real moment of materiam superabat opus is undoubtedly the solo-heavy ‘Cheap Thrills’, which ought to make you start hunting for that ’59 Thunderbird in the pages of Exchange & Mart.

If there’s one reservation, it’s that on occasion Heart On does unfortunately veer into QOTSA cast-off territory. But so what, this a great record to do any multitude of things to - most of them bad.