EAGLES OF DEATH METAL REDEFINE ‘ROCK OUT WITH YOUR COCK OUT’ WITH ZIPPER DOWN

Eagles of Death Metal's newest album Zipper Down has what it takes to lift you up as well!

Eagles of Death Metal’s newest album Zipper Down has what it takes to lift you up as well!

Eagles of Death Metal, better known as Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes (or even further known as Baby Duck and Boots Electric, respectively) have coexisted with Homme and Hughes’ other projects such as Homme owning Queens Of The Stone Age and being a part time member of Them Crooked Vultures, as well as captaining the ground-breaking desert love songs that amount to the Desert Sessions. If you are not knowing about the Desert Sessions, grab your phone, your tablet, your watch, your crotch and look them up. Hughes, besides being heavily involved with his solo career as Boots Electric, finds the time to be a hardcore right wing enthusiast while still proclaiming to be socially liberal (as does Homme). But Hughes has taken it to another level, even going head-to-head with liberal mouthpiece, actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo on her radio show.

Of which I know nothing about, nor do I care to. We’re here because there’s some killer music you have to hear…

The history between Homme and Hughes is long, starting as childhood friends, you can tell these two have similar mindsets, and an impeccable simpatico that makes for some extra tight music, gorgeous harmony vocals, and a universal feel for the songs.

Time to check them out!

The disc starts off with the hit single “Complexities”. If the bone shaking beat don’t get ya, that atomic fuzz bass will! The lyrics to the songs are included in the packaging along with some niftaroo photos of the degenerate duo. The message of this song has been reported on over and over, keeping things simple and complexity-free. The lyrical approach to this is (as usual) unorthodox to say the least. But that’s not to say that it’s a complicated affair, like the boys say, it’s so easy, without complexities.

While Homme and Hughes throw some minor solos over the verse, the chorus lead is really cool as it sounds as if Homme married a guitar to a synth horn sound so every note sounds lush and full while the part itself is, what do ya know, easy!!

Isn’t that the point of this song?

Verse two contains some eerie backing vocals instead of leads. New ideas…

The second chorus features vocals over the horny guitar solo. All of that lushness falls away for the third verse where there is a break-down to drums, vocals and lead guitar. The arrangement manifests stark and drastic dynamics all throughout the song. It is a good choice for a single. For the second stanza of verse three, all instruments return to pump up the dynamic into the main solo. A conglomeration of sounds with a new melody over a rhythm track change.

These guys know how to make something… different!

They pull out of the solo by going into the chorus with horny lead, additional vocals, big sound, and like many of these songs has a surprise, quirky ending.

One slam and a fuzz bass wakes up “Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)”. A tale of a wanna-be hipster throwing everything he has at a bouncer who won’t let him in the coolest club around Silverlake. Oh, and if you don’t have the album yet (and you should), K.S.O.F.M. is the acronymic result of King Shit of Fuck Mountain, a reference to the hipster flinging false identities around.

This is a typical marriage of Eagle Of Death Metal (EODM) style and Queens Of The Stone Age (QOTSA) style. The riff is total EODM, while the two note guitar chime is reverbed out like many Homme guitar parts on QOTSA albums. The bridge vocals are a riot with Homme acting out his best Homohipsterus impression. The muddy chorus repeats the infamous line used by many a celebrity when denied their preference (getting into a night club, not being arrested, etc.), ‘don’t you know who I am?’. The last celebrity I heard using that phrase was Chanel West Coast as she was being arrested for being petulant at a Hollywood hot spot.

Ooohh, Homme and Hughes are such bad boys, yet they are never stupid enough to do stupid shit in front of the paparazzi inhabiting the Thirty Mile Zone in and around Hollywood Blvd, Sunset, so on. They do their dumb shit in the middle of nowhere in the desert where they won’t be caught on camera by photogs. Learn anything Lindsey Lohan???

We get to hear more of that reverb guitar before the next verse, this is the one with the King Shit of Fuck Mountain reference. I mean, that’s just fucking great! I wish I were more arrogant, I’d walk around all day calling myself King Shit of Fuck Mountain!!! Next time someone asks what I like to be called…

We get back to the bridge and the lyrics change a bit. But the big change is a really nice breakdown beat Homme tosses in under the buzzsaw reverb guitar solo. That might be a cue as they rejoin the bridge section but the rhythm track is very staccato at points. It’s a brilliant break up to keep things lively and entertaining (although if you need more entertainment than is provided by the lyrics and the music, jeez, just go hook up a Jolt cola to you I.V.).

We wrap up with one more hipster chorus, where the plotting and scheming simply falls away in favor of outright begging. Another interesting ending where Hughes impassioned cries of ‘don’t you know who I am’ and finally ‘I don’t know who I am’ rings out after the rest of the instruments have cleverly ended.

Sorry, but ever since the break out hit by Woflmother, “Woman”, I get antsy when I see the word ‘woman’ in a title. So I was highly suspect of the next track, “Got A Woman”, until I heard it. At first, they throw everything at you, all the instruments mastered loud and the prerequisite killer riff. When it breaks into the verse structure, the drums plow over everything both in mix and tempo.

Will we start seeing Josh Homme on the cover of Modern Drummer???

The lyrics are admittedly sexist tripe, but that’s one of EODM’s charms. Good old school sexist approach to women and the women who love it. The chorus is a few words repeated over and over. Just like any pop song you hear on the radio, so the boys have their radar tuned to what’s hip. If the youngsters can do, these guys can master it! I mean, I swear to fuck, that new Selena Gomez song “Good For You” is a few keyboard pads, and her going on and on about how she wants to look and be good for her man.

Hardly an anthem for feminism, Ms. Gomez…

Homme adds a mean guitar solo over the thumping drums, they revert back to the intro riff and end on a dime. One of those tracks that you want more of.

We hear Homme say “I Love You All The Time” (in a slight German accent) and the tune kicks off. Full rhythm section with the chords of Badfinger, and the production of Beach Boys. A slide guitar brings in the first verse in what seems like diatribe of a man who can tell his relationship is on the fritz. Especially the chorus.

Perhaps I can paint a better picture of how this song sounds with this analogy: Imagine if the Partridge Family had to cover QOTSA…

We hit the gut-sinking line ‘I would beg you if I thought it would make you stay,’ and the dynamic drops off so the acoustic guitar (yeah, you heard right, acoustic on an EODM album) takes over the tempo for the ‘French’ verse. Hughes even varies the melody of the vocals. All throughout Homme is laying down laser beam leads underneath.

Complex! Wait…

We run through the woeful chorus, and add in some heavy rhythms as the lyrics repeat the begging line over. We alternate French ramblings with laser beam guitar solo, replete with quirky ending.

Stick click counts in “Oh Girl” which is almost power ballad-esque in the beginning. What it tails off to is almost comical in lack of approach. A herky-jerky rhythm track emerges. Reverb drenched vocals for the bridge-line intro. The rhythm track dynamic returns to that of the intro under Hughes’ love lost vocals for verse one. We then return to the intro bridge for repeats of ‘You’ve got to save me, baby’ again repeated in that new-pop style.

We return to the jerky-jerky bridge line ‘Oh girl, when you comin’ back to me’ followed as per the arrangement by the power verse and reverb vocals. We double the structure for another verse right after it. The arrangement goes into the ‘save me’ bridge line.

And we break back down to the herky-jerky bridge ‘Oh girl…’ line. But the herky-jerky is kept to a minimum by a straight-forward drum part and relinquishes to the end verb of the line ‘Oh girl’.

These guys aren’t much for fade outs.

“Got The Power” is an enigma (yeah, like there aren’t more of those on this disc). The lyrics at a glance seem to refer to making the infamous deal with the devil. Jesse Hughes bills himself as ‘the devil’ in press, on albums, etc. If you look at the cover photo of this disc, he even autographs it ‘J. Devil’. Yet, in the movie that accompanies the release of this disc ‘The Redemption of the Devil’, Hughes details the ordeal of being ordained. The movie is also a must-have for any QOTSA/Homme/Rancho De La Luna/EODM/Boots Electric fan as it also documents the struggles Hughes endured attempting to gain custody of his son. Like few have done before, Hughes lets his hair down in a gut-wrenching scene that shows the man behind the bravado, the devil identity, the libertine libido lover.

“Got The Power” starts a cappella, then drums and big guitars bring in the verse. The a cappella part is back with full instrumentation this time and a lead takes over the spotlight. One of the best slide solos I’ve heard in a while that doesn’t sound like cats in a blender.

Hughes allows his range to be featured on the vocal chorus sections utilizing his low and high vocal parts.

More slide solos from hell. The arrangement changes slightly as they toss in a verse bridge for two lines between vocal choruses. But the ending doesn’t come long after the last vocal word. Ending after ending, they don’t really like going on at the end it seems.

Well somebody thinks they are god’s gift in “Skin Tight Boogie”! At least that’s the impression I get from the vocals. I thought ego songs were out of vogue?

You hear a couple of pickup scrapes and then the bass from “You Can’t Quit Me Baby” off of the first QOTSA album by the same name comes in. Only playing different notes. Some reverse verb drums and twinkling parts sprinkle in throughout. But this is a cock-rock anthem.

There is a nice verse done by Tuesday Cross that puts our lethario in his place. Then there is a structure that reminds me of something from Them Crooked Vultures. The ‘Rules are bending…’ part sounds a lot like parts of Them Crooked Vultures’ “Reptiles”. Just a bit slower.

It could just be me. But I doubt it.

We return back to the heavily synthesized last verse. Although no synthesizers are mentioned in the credits. We have the big strut-off near the end which comprises of a wah-strummed guitar (tre 70’s). Closest thing to a fade out on the album so far.

The thundering drums of “Got A Woman (Slight Return)” reprise for this very short version of “Got A Woman”. The lyrics are only ‘we who’ or wee hoo. The tempo seems quicker and the rhythm track more focused on the faster version. Before I can make my mind up about it, it’s over. With a quick, Hughes-generated ‘yeah’.

Slightly mistuned guitars (and I mean by one cent off), “The Deuce” takes hold. With an almost “Long, Cool Woman” vibe, the verse starts in. Hughes loves to sing about dancing (what was it that Martin Mull once said, oh yeah, writing about music is like dancing about architecture…) and objectifying his dance partners (attaboy, Jess! Fuck that feminist movement!).

I should be careful, people may think that I am against the feminism movement. I have nothing against it, but I see how it affects women, especially in the podunk, shit-kicking town I live in. I should also be careful about tossing out that Mull quote. I am a reviewer and that is a phrase dealing with reviewers.

Aw fuck them! This is my blog, my shit. You wanna sue me? Go ahead! That loser Merhan found out you can’t sue someone in this country over AN OPINION!!! Terrorist…

“The Deuce” has a plodding rhythm that must be good for dancing (I don’t dance, I am usually the one making the music, not dancing to it). There is a killer guitar solo in the midst of all this. It sounds like the patch Homme used for the guitar part in the QOTSA cover of Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never”. The guitars come to a harmonious conclusion of the solo.

Back to the plodding third verse, then the mistuned guitar intro. That sounds a lot like something from the Desert Sessions. “Robotic Lunch” is the name of the tune I am thinking of. I think. We repeat the bridge lines twice and we are out the door with some solos over the plodding rhythm.

Yup, this is the Duran Duran song, “Save A Prayer”. This version features drum and fuzz bass with Hughes doing his best Simon LePouf impression. While EODM’s version is heavy, thick and purposeful, it is still Duran Duran. Homme can do all the love calls he wants, he can’t pull of the ‘gayety’ needed to resuscitate this version. So I am moving along. It’s Duran Duran after all…

Finally we have “The Reverend” ushered in with some muddy drums and fuzz guitar lines. Then the guitars come to the front of the mix right before the vocals kick in. This is all riff, very little lyrics and there is an uncredited female vocalist on this track. After a drum fill break, things heat up a little, for some good noise jam, and after another drum fill break, we return to the intro with feedback guitar and some vocal ad libs. Seeing as Hughes is an ordained minister (he may have risen to the rank of bishop if what the movie trailer indicates is true), I would expect this to be a little more, well, reverent.

After we are instructed to wave bye bye, some feedback and drums bring us our first and only official fade out of the album.

You mean for a change?

This is a good-time disc for a good time. You can dance, drink, screw, party, or you can just listen. Either way, if you get your copy of Zipper Down, you win.

 

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