It’s appropriate that the only thing more entertaining than the Eagles of Death Metal’s name is their uncanny ability to make a clean distinction between what makes for great music and what makes for a great joke. After all, the line between cool and absurd has been straddled many times by the swagger skills of artists in the know. And the Eagles of Death Metal — a band that sounds neither like the Eagles nor death metal — is no exception.
Their songs are jaunty, hedonistic three-minute zingers that recall everything from garage rock to Crazy Horse to the Fall. Too hooky to be completely serious, the tongue-in-cheek ditties are hard to ignore — tunes like the alpha male-affirming “Speaking in Tongues” and “I Only Want You” on their album, Peace Love Death Metal make this band one of the most charismatic cult faves to come along in a long while.
Led by singer Jesse “the Devil” Hughes, an auburn-haired frontman with a full-on Bruiser-style mustache, EODM is fun-loving braggadocio. Ironically epicene in his leather gloves and hat, Hughes waves all the flags: the hip-sway, the Elvis-esque “huh-mana, huh-mana” chants and the unabashed falsetto voice.
The band is rounded out by Queens of the Stone Age shouter Josh Homme on drums and the former Millionare (one of the most underrated bands of our time) member Timmy “Tipover” VanHamel on lead guitar.
So even if the raw appeal and the credentials leave you unimpressed, consider this: There’s something strangely appealing about a band that feels as if it was conceived by rock stars in a boozy haze somewhere in Hollywood, over too many cigarettes and a bunch of free plays on the juke. You can almost hear the “wouldn’t it be awesome if we …” and the sloppy clinking of glasses now.
Doors at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700) with the Gore Gore Girls. Send comments to [email protected]