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Album Review
Zipper Down

Zipper Down
by Eagles Of Death Metal

Label
Downtown Recordings
Rating

Review Date
29th October 2015
Reviewed by
Stefanie Keyworth

The dream team of Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes and Josh “Baby Duck” Homme are back after seven long years, but it’s hard to say if the Eagles Of Death Metal were quite ready to return. Zipper Down, their fourth album, starts strong with their signature humour, hyperactive blues riffs and the increasingly un-goofy drumming of Homme, but it's ultimately a bit too familiar for long-time listeners.

“Don’t You Know Who I Am?” pouts Hughes in the pretension mocking ‘Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)’ before declaring that he doesn’t actually know himself. That topic is unfortunately left unexplored as the stakes are quickly lowered for some swift superficial boogie. It may seem misguided to lament the enduring shallowness of such a band but their previous album Heart On proved that they are a great band with a joke name (rather than the reverse) by adding a dash of introspection to their signature swagger. As the recent year-in-the-life documentary The Redemption Of The Devil revealed, Hughes is a fascinating character full of contradiction and music is demonstrably a great outlet for his creative impulses. Unfortunately, the only complexity he’s willing to explore in Zipper Down is the rehash of his 2011 solo single ‘Complexity’. It remains a great track whether or not you already knew it from his solo album Honkey Kong, but it is a brazen move to follow it with two more Boots Electric covers. Revisiting old songs is nothing new in Camp Homme, but repeating three is a real slap in the face to patient fans.

Though the subject matter is simple, the band have at least evolved musically. From covering Stealers Wheel on their debut, and reimagining 'Brown Sugar' in every tempo since, they have progressed to a sleek sheen as evidenced by ‘Got A Woman’ and ‘Skin Tight Boogie’. It doesn’t stop there: with its synthy bassline, Homme’s Cherokee calls, and Hughes singing his butt off, their cover of Duran Duran’s ‘Save A Prayer’ is an unanticipated highlight. While he gets a lot of credit for his musicianship and showing that gingers can be cool, Homme has an underrated golden touch in album production.

All said, the songs are good fun and it’s a great sounding album that could have been a great EP instead of six-and-a-half new songs and too many covers. The Hendrix nodding subtitle to the needless ‘Got A Woman’ reprise says it all: Slight Return.



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