Sound — 8
With so many bands attempting to create the ultimate intellectual, philosophical, and musical opus, a miracle of nature has managed to emerge. Yes, one tongue-in-cheek band wants you to rock hard and they don't need than more than a few chords to do it.
In a world where musicians love to take themselves way too seriously, the Eagles Of Death Metal's Death By Sexy proves that sometimes all you need to rock is a few chords and some trashy lyrics -- all is good fun, of course.
Most notably known as Queen of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme's side project, the EODM gathers a group of different musicians and writing styles than Homme's other band. The lineup on the second full-length CD from the EODM has Jesse The Devil Hughes reigning feverishly over the vocals and guitars, Homme in control of the drums, and a seemingly endless list of additional musicians who play various roles in the album.
When you listen to Death By Sexy, you must know what you're in for. For those in search of intricate and musically complicated songs, the EODM could seem downright blasphemous. But then those people would be missing the point completely. What the band offers is, plain and simple, a good time. You can almost picture the band playing a smoky nightclub filled with people shoulder to shoulder, hopefully crying out silly, drunken utterances.
Most songs are based on a series of basic chords, but what enhances these seemingly basic tunes is the charismatic delivery of the frontman. Complete with falsetto, retro mustache, and amusing delivery, Hughes sells each song in an appealingly sleazy manner. One of the best tracks on the CD is I Gotta Feeling (Just Nineteen), which does not explore any new musical territory, but it is an infectious, rocking tune.
The guitar work in Death By Sexy will not likely wow any technical gurus, with songs like Keep Your Head Up sounding a lot like a Rolling Stone tune and most of the others sticking to a few chords. But every once in a while the band surprises you by breaking out an acoustic slide guitar and making you feel like you're in a juke joint. Interestingly enough, it's the three-chord songs with raw distortion packing the most punch. The acoustic songs, while unique, are just not as satisfying.
While Homme is not really the focal point of the EODM, the CD does prove he is a well-rounded musician. Don't Speak (I Came To Make A Bang!) gives Homme to show he's good with a drum kit, particularly in the breakdown featured mid-song.
As fun as Death By Sexy is, there are a few lackluster moments. The Ballad Of Queen Bee And Baby Duck is somewhat repetitive and is missing the grinding rock sound that really carries the CD.
Lyrics — 8
Before you even start the first track, you probably know what you're in for lyric-wise with a CD title like Death By Sexy. When considering what this band is going for, the lyrics suit them perfectly. The point is extremely clear and to the point: Hughes is a bad, bad boy and he's on the prowl.
The opening track I Want You So Hard sets the tone for the rest of Death By Sexy right off the bat. Hughes sings, I want you so hard; I want you so good; But can you trust me? Yes you know you could. The lyrics are what they are, and it's almost silly to probe them too deeply.
The same sexy theme colors I Gotta Feeling (Just Nineteen). Hughes explains, Now look it baby, you're just nineteen; I got the flesh and I will make you scream; Ohhh. These kinds of lyrics would be achingly bad if sung by any other band. But EODM evokes a smile with each line and the band deserves a big hand for that fact.
Overall Impression — 9
The Eagles Of Death Metal are a refreshing change to the bands that simply refuse to have a sense of humor these days. Will EODM change the face of rock? Will the band's compositions unearth a new, revolutionary style of music? Well, no. But Death By Sexy combines humor, catchy rock, and an escape to a trashier time and place. It's a fun trip and highly recommended.
The CD loses momentum a few times, but if the intriguing EODM were to perform these same less-than-great tunes at a live show, the last phrase would probably be thrown on the window. This band is undoubtedly entertaining in person and have you laughing all the while.
The three chords. The sex. The mustache. What a genius combination.