Review Summary: Jesse still wants your women...
The Eagles Of Death Metal have never been a band to open new musical doors or push any boundaries. They were always a guilty pleasure to blast at some party or witness live. The sleazy redneck outings that made up most of their first two records, plus that lo-fi/single take feel was perfect for the bare bones tracks. Put Jesse Hughes on top and you have one of the quirkiest rock 'n' roll bands in quite a while. The blunt lyrics and slick attitude were accentuated throughout their funny videos and passionate live performances. Even if their 3rd effort, Heart On
was quite hit and miss due to unnecessary attempts to be taken more seriously, it still added some essential cuts to the playlist. Luckily, during the 7-year gap these guys have kept touring the world multiple times avoiding what seemed to be a slow fade into obscurity. Unexpectedly, they even grew bigger due to their intense shows, quite a few levels higher than the album sales predicted.
Thankfully, in 2015 Jesse is still the same cartoonish character and the songs he writes are just as juvenile. On the contrast, in the past few years Josh's appearance has become a more serious, artsy one (at least on the surface), translating from the significantly somber QOTSA album, ...Like Clockwork
, yet he decided to revert to his spaced out, funny self for the new Eagles Of Death Metal. In their own words, Zipper Down
will improve your sex life, cure AIDS, stop the ongoing wars, put an end to racism and poverty, among other issues, overall leading to a better life on Earth. If you are ignorant, this album will probably slip through your fingers.
However, until we witness such incredible milestones in our human lives, Zipper Down
is merely another addition to the band's growing catalogue. Ending up somewhere between Heart On
and Death By Sexy
, this record shares a more consistent set of hooks, but fail to deliver THAT immediate, uber catchy tune each of their LPs brought. 'Complexity' comes closest (yes, it sounds a lot like MJ's 'Beat It', but then again, a dozen other songs out there do too), with its fat bass line and playful piano leads. Nevertheless, there are "deeper" cuts to be explored here, such as the sunny, laid back grooves on 'Oh Girl' and the classic rock radio-ready 'I Love You All The Time', where Jesse actually delivers some of his most melodic vocals so far. Still, prone to revert to his old ways, the man goes full blown redneck on the spastic boogie of 'Got A Woman' or the barn rocker closer, 'The Reverend'. They have also took some time to poke fun at hipsters on 'Silverlake' and turn Duran Duran's 'Save A Prayer' into the perfect soundtrack to take your girl to the prom.
It's cool how old school Zipper Down
turned out to be, harkening back to a lot of '70s rock 'n' roll/boogie. Still, it doesn't top Peace Love Death Metal
, an album that I still believe is firmly rooted into the modern rock ground. The simplicity and sincerity found there, topped by a lack of guitar/drum skills made it such a super fun, guilt free listen. Although the new album is a solid affair and a step up in tightness/structure, it needed that previous edge to be truly compelling. Remaining as polarizing as ever, you'll either like it (old fans will sure do) or focus your attention on other stuff.