Eagles of Death Metal: “Speaking in Tongues”
Damn you, Microsoft! You beat me to the punch. I had Eagles of Death Metal cued up to post here in the next couple of weeks, and then what do you do but feature them on your new Windows 8 commercial before I have a chance to do it! Using cool music as if you were Apple or VW. Huh. Making it seem like you influenced me. Well, see if you spoil my Death Metal party! You won’t, I tell you!
Now that I mention it, the idea of a “death metal party” seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Besides, as far as I know, I don’t like death metal. But I do like the Eagles of Death Metal very much, who, aside from the band name, have very little to do with death metal. They are much, much closer to Queens of the Stone Age, and for good reason: Josh Homme of QotSA is one of the driving forces in the “Eagles” (not to be confused with “The Eagles,” who in all but a few cases are lame and will never be featured here, even for their songs that suck least).
Homme formed the Eagles of Death Metal with longtime friend Jesse Hughes (from Josh’s pre-Queens days) back in the late ’90s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that they released a debut album: Peace Love Death Metal. It is one heck of a raunchy, loose, and raucous good time — Hughes is a great singer, which is kind of surprising when you find out that he had been a journalist prior to Homme’s suggestion that they form a band. In one song after another, you can hear them having a blast — this is clearly a style of music that Homme loves to do but can’t really fit into QotSA’s more serious confines.
I like pretty much everything on Peace Love Death Metal, but my favorite track is “Speaking in Tongues,” the second song on the album (following the lead track, “I Only Want You,” the song you hear in the Windows 8 TV commercial). The main guitar riff is funky, catchy as all get-out, and has exactly the kind of tight distortion that I love. The vocal rhythm is fantastic, and Hughes pulls it off with aplomb. I strongly suspect he’s one of rock’s most underrated vocalists. Interestingly, Homme, who goes by the hilarious alter-ego, “Carlo Von Sexron,” plays drums in the Eagles of D.M., and shows himself to be quite capable of laying down a great beat. Summed up, “Speaking in Tongues” and all of Peace Love Death Metal is some of the funkiest garage-y rock you’ll hear — it’ll get your rump shaking, or at least get your head nodding, if you’re not of the rump-shaking persuasion.