The Eagles of Death Metal may seem like a side project within a side project -- having debuted on the third and fourth volumes of Josh Homme's ever-changing collaboration the Desert Sessions -- but that doesn't mean that the band's first full-length, Peace Love Death Metal, plays like an afterthought. Going by the alias Carlo Von Sexron, Homme supplies simple but effective drumming on longtime friend Jesse Hughes' appealingly tossed-off songs; like the Desert Sessions' releases, one of this album's greatest strengths is its off-the-cuff vibe. As with their earlier songs, on Peace Love Death Metal the band tends more toward the Eagles side of their name than the Death Metal part; the album is rife with classic rock riffs and allusions, from the "Spirit in the Sky" throb of "San Berdoo Sunburn" to the cover of Stealer's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" (affectionately redubbed "Stuck in the Metal") to the overall Rolling Stones-meets-garage rock aesthetic. Hughes isn't quite as commanding a vocalist as Homme is, but he is a versatile one, opting for a breathy, nearly androgynous tone that works especially well on "Stacks o' Money" and a tremulous baritone that recalls Lux Interior on "Speaking in Tongues." Basically, the Eagles of Death Metal sound like one of the more entertaining bar bands that you're ever likely to hear, especially on "I Only Want You," "Bad Dream Mama," and "English Girl." On the other hand, the unusually dark "Already Died" is an atypical highlight, with the ominous but melodic feel of Homme's Desert Sessions or Queens of the Stone Age material. The band's forays into blues on "Flames Go Higher" and "Midnight Creeper" also work well and fit in with the rest of Peace Love Death Metal's spontaneity and sense of humor. Jokey moments like "Kiss the Devil," a bizarrely catchy fusion of punkabilly stomp mixed with gospel-like vocal harmonies, add some refreshing weirdness to the album, but tracks such as the aptly named "Wastin' My Time" fall flat. Like Desert Sessions, Vol. 9-10, Peace Love Death Metal starts out strong and peters out in its last few tracks. That's not particularly surprising, or even all that disappointing, considering that the album was recorded in three days and having fun seems to be its main reason for being. Fortunately, its sense of fun carries over to its listeners instead of remaining a "you had to be there" experience.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares