Released: Oct 2, 2015
Genre: Garage Rock
Label: Downtown Recordings
Number Of Tracks: 11
Seven years since their last album, Eagles Of Death Metal make a triumphant return with their fourth album, "Zipper Down."
Zipper DownFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 10, 2015 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: After Josh Homme's stoner rock band Kyuss went defunct, he created two new bands around the same time: his most notable rock band, Queens Of The Stone Age, and a more tongue-in-cheek garage rock revival band with childhood friend Jesse Hughes, Eagles Of Death Metal. While QOTSA was Homme's prime responsibility, EODM would finally get things off the ground in 2004 with their debut album, "Peace, Love, Death Metal," which generated good buzz even for an album that was crafted in the interest of playful levity. Despite Homme still working equally as much with QOTSA at this time, as well as Hughes going through drug addiction and rehab, EODM would continue this momentum, releasing two more albums, 2006's "Death by Sexy" and 2008's "Heart On," that showed the modest retro rock project getting more substantial.
In the years following, momentum for all of Homme's projects would come to a halt after he had a near-death experience in the midst of surgery. But Homme's resilience has spurred resurgence across the board as of recently, and with QOTSA making their big return a couple years ago with their sixth album, "...Like Clockwork," EODM followed along in their long-awaited return with their fourth album, "Zipper Down."
Whether the seven years in between their last album didn't affect them or affected them for the better, "Zipper Down" shows EODM continuing their progression into a fuller-bloomed retro rock revival project. After the previous two albums brought forth better offerings of instrumental skill and layering, the big improvement of "Zipper Down" is the array of styles it offers, spanning from the fuzzy, swaggering blues rocker "Skin-Tight Boogie" and the dancefloor-filling "Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)" to the softer, southern-tinged "The Deuce," and even taking a detour into staunch noise rock in the heavily-layered "The Reverend."
This bigger array of classic rock offerings goes hand in hand with a number of nods to EODM's rock ancestors. There are simpler cases of this, like the straightforward hard rock cut of "Got the Power" feeling like classic KISS, or the opening of "Oh Girl" sounding like that of Cream's "White Room," but EODM keep this homage-paying from being a rip-off game by mixing things up. The poppy vocal melody of "I Love You All the Time" that's in similar spirit to Ringo Starr's "Oh My My" is paired with a more downcast blues feel, the spaced guitar hits in "Got a Woman" that call back to Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town" are an appendage of its frenetic rockabilly style, and though one of the lead guitar riffs in "Complexity" is strikingly similar to the lead riff of Mountain's "Mississippi Queen," the dominant power pop sound the song touts keeps this from being a shameless knock-off. And with their fuzzy and forlorn garage rock adaptation of Duran Duran's iconic new wave hit "Save a Prayer," they further show that they can take a classic they're inspired by and reconstruct it into something fresh and interesting. // 8
Lyrics: At the heart of it, EODM's lyrical style has always been rooted in a satirical rendition of tropes found in the lyrics of classic rock. Hughes continues this in "Zipper Down," mocking the artificial coolness of L.A., specifically going after the hipster paradise of Silverlake in "Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)," as well as poking fun at the age-old stereotype that rock music promotes devil worship by blatantly encouraging devil worship in "Got the Power" ("The devil really wants to see you swim / Just take the deal and you can jump right in").
But the biggest aspect of this satire in EODM's lyrics regarded the brash machismo found in so much of classic rock's lyrics. Hughes ironically indulged in such a style in EODM's earlier albums, but by "Heart On," Hughes' lyrics started to pull away at the veneer, showing these depictions to be more desperate and insecure, making them darker in comparison. This arc continues even further in "Zipper Down," where Hughes' lyrics that used to womanize in an alpha-male swagger have now shriveled into pleas of dependency, heard in the unrequited "I Love You All the Time" ("I can tell you're gonna take your love away"), the post-breakup pining of "Oh Girl" ("You've got to save me, baby / Oh girl, when you coming back to me?"), and the narrative of a failing rebound attempt in "Skin-Tight Boogie." Going beyond mockery by mimicry, Hughes' darker lyrics of failed romance have the trope of the irresistible rock star tearing at the seams. // 8
Overall Impression: Much has changed since the last time EODM released an album. With garage/blues rock revival becoming the new trend in the world of rock music, EODM return to a genre that's expanded significantly with the number of bands trying their hand at classic rock pastiche. In the midst of this influx, however, "Zipper Down" shines bright for its variance within the realm of retro rock revival, making this return for EODM all the more triumphant. And aside from how it rises above the rest, "Zipper Down" still accomplishes the simple purpose of an EODM album: being a fun garage rock album from front to back. // 9
JasonAllen85, on january 08, 2016 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Maybe I love this album because it was the bands first in seven years. Maybe because it was released on October 2nd which is my birthday making it feel as though it was a special gift to me. Either way I was just excited to hear the album. The fact that Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme look like they could be cast as murders in any Cohen brothers movie yet have high pitched harmonies of rock and roll choir boys is impressive enough. With a rock star meets garage band with potential sound it is a great mix of precision and dirt. This album only further proves Josh Homme doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon which I couldn't be happier about. // 7
Lyrics: If you're looking for poetry accompanied by music this might not be the album for you. This is a feel good rock album nothing more nothing less. Lyrically don't look for the second coming of John Lennon. This is great music for any kegger (no frat boys please) These guys have been at this for a while and with seven years in the making they had no problem syncing up their singing styles with their intentionally messy rock and roll sound. These guys know what they were going for and I don't think they would ever claim to be some kind of inspirational voice. They stayed true to themselves and their fans and released a rock and roll album while still taking some risks. Not a lyrical masterpiece. // 6
Overall Impression: My favorite song on this album would have to be complexity it's the first song on the album which really sets the tone when it comes to what you're in for. I love that these guys are known for being rock and roll but were not afraid to experiment with other styles a bit more out of their wheel house. The two aging musicians are not getting set in their ways which is a huge relief considering how often this happens. I look forward to seeing what the band's next move is. I may love this album because I see less and less quality rock bands year after year or I may love it because Josh Homme can do no wrong in my opinion. P.S. I totally want to sleep with his wife. Overall it was a great listen I would recommend this album to any rock and roll music fan. // 8