Release Date: September 20th
When evaluating a band or album, there is a wide rift between “good” and “interesting.” Saying “well, that is interesting” is usually the polite 50s mom way of saying “this isn’t for me but I’m glad you like it.” I have had friends that put on an album by a novelty band and asked “isn’t this great?” I don’t think I need to tell you what my response was. Most of the time, novelty bands and “weird” musicians rope us on for a few listens and make us giggle and laugh and then we grow tired of their antics and the albums get shelved until they are sold at a second-hand CD store.
After reading a few items and watching videos about the production of the upcoming album Honkey Kong by Boots Electric, the alter-ego of Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse Hughes, I thought this might be where we were heading. A crazy album cover, a couple of wittily misspelled track names and names like “Trippy Blob” set the table for me. I was prepared for an eye roll.
Then I remembered: have you ever listened to Jesse Hughes? He makes sounding good look easy, and he does it again as Boots Electric. Dropping the strutting guitar rockabilly sound, Hughes explores the world of pop and funky, filthy electronic beats. One listen to “Boots Electric,” Hughes duet with Brody Dalle and I immediately said under my breath: “goddang, this guy is made to make music.” He has an ear for catchy beats and knows how to craft individual pieces of a song and stick them together.
Three straight hooky-as-hell electronic tracks open the album and then Boots Electric traverses the musical map, going 60s ballad in “Dreams Tonight,” doo-wop with “Trippy Blob,” country-folk in “Swallowed By the Night” and back to rockabilly with “Speed Demon.” Peppered between are a few electronic rock staples to bring everything back to center. The songs show Hughes’ eccentric side and sometimes you can’t help but feel he is winking at the listener, but his skills cannot be denied.
The funky, quirky, addictive sounds go by quickly at 33 minutes but the album is generally enjoyed in pieces at a track-by-track basis. It fits well peppered in among other tracks shuffled in an mp3 player. The sounds of Honkey Kong are fun enough to play for your friends and make them ask “what is that?” But the musical talents of Jesse Hughes give the album enough staying power to not end up on the scrap heap and hopefully will have people saying “that was interesting” in a good way.
Boots Electric Theme by Boots Electric