Boots Electric: Honkey Kong

boots electric, honkey kong, eagles of death metalBoots Electric: Honkey Kong
The solo debut from Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse “The Devil” Hughes (performing as his funky, sleazy alter-ego, Boots Electric), is, for all intents and purposes, a party album. What sets it apart is that it is a party that is unafraid to asks the sometimes sad question: “Does the death of the party mean extinction for the party animal?” It is familiar territory for Hughes, whose Eagles of Death Metal material deals almost solely with finding love and lust in the throes of Rock n’ Roll excess.
Honkey Kong finds Hughes, rather Boots Electric, in the grip of the very same excessive appetites. He is still a funk mutant trying to live out the night of his life. By replacing the EoDM guitar attack with the bouncing bass lines and warbling organ drone employed on Honkey Kong, though, his cocaine creep persona is imbued with a little bit of vulnerability. As Boots Electric, Hughes is no longer calling out to the object of his desire from the stage of the club, but singing to her across a sticky table full of empty glasses after everyone else has gone home. When performing to an audience of one, rejection is a greater (and much more menacing) threat. That connection is what Boots wants–and fears–the most.
Co-produced with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Belle and Sebastian) and Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Boots Electric’s sound is an electro-funk party throb that ultimately owes more to Scissor Sisters than EoDM. It is the choice of not just interesting collaborators, but interesting collaborators with whom he has great musical chemistry that makes Honkey Kong such a wonderfully surprising departure from the Eagles of Death Metal sound for which Hughes is known. Case in point, in his collaboration with Brody Dalle of the Distillers on “Boots Electric Theme”, the pair achieves boy-girl pop perfection in the sleaziest manner possible (chorus: “all the girls/all the boys go booooots!”) with a result that can only be described as B-52’s by way of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Honkey Kong ultimately triumphs due to the earnestness of Hughes’ commitment to being himself, albeit as his Boots persona. After all, when the party ends, you only have yourself to thank (or blame).
Rating: 8.0/10
MP3: Boots Electric “Boots Electric Theme”
Buy: iTunes