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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork


What: Music Review

           Well, we waited six years for a new Queens of the Stone Age album. What we get from fellows Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertiita, Michael Shuman and Jon Theodore as well as Dave Ghroll on drums is a powerhouse album filled with great guitar work, rifts, solos and always talented song writing. The album delivers to be one of the best of the year I’ve listened to, and to answer everyone’s question, it was worth the sixth year wait.
       There is no question that Queens of the Stone Age fans are hard to come by. Many alternative rock n roll listeners tend to pass them by, and their oddball and unusual sound discourages them. Which of course is a mistake. That unusual oddball sound is why I like Queens of the Stone Age so much, and the fans they do have go all the way to supporting them. Its been so long since their last album, ‘Lullabies to Paralyze’, that the announcement of a new album came as a surprise to many. Being involved in several super groups and off projects, many thought that QOTSA would not return as a group to the music industry for quit some time. However, Josh Homme and company returned with full force with ‘Like Clockwork’, their sixth studio album to date.
       After that long wait, let me tell you it was nice to hear Josh’s haunting voice mixed in with those unique Queens of the Stone Age sounds. Unlike many artists these days or over the past few months even (can we say Paramore or Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the new Queens of the Stone Age album is not something new and different from the bands original sound. In fact, just the opposite, ‘Like Clockwork’ goes right back to the very roots of Queens of the Stone Age’ and sounds very much like their first album. The Queens have returned with their sound they have produced and preformed for over ten years now, and you can tell they are damn well proud of it, as they should be.
          However, that being said, there are some notable changes in this album versus previous Queens of the Stone Age efforts. ‘Like Clockwork’ benefits because it is more construct, more put together and works as a whole, where as their other albums seemed scratched up and a bit off centered on each tune. (Not that that’s a bad thing). The groups trademark sounds are all here on this album, but sound much more professional and focused into a single piece of work. The whole album sounds amazing listening to from track one to the very finish, and there isn’t a bad song on it. If someone should start listening to Queens of the Stone Age, I’d suggest this album be the first they should listen to fallowed by their earlier work before their claimed to fame album ‘Songs for the Deaf’.
           Lets talk about the single first, as many of you probably have heard ‘My God is the Sun’ by now on modern rock stations or should have. The song is one of the most powerful on the album, and delivers a power house performance by Josh Homme. You can really pay attention and bring out Josh Homme’s song writing in the tune just as well if not more so than the guitar work, drums and bass. Even the title is unique of the song is unique and makes you a bit more interested in giving the tune a listen to.
          Queens of the Stone Age have always benefited from Homme’s song writing, which is in full force on this album. Some other extremely unique songs where the sing writing is in full effect are ‘Smooth sailing,’ ‘I Appear Missing’, ‘If I had a Tail’, and ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’. Josh Holmes also plays guitar with the group as well and is a multi talented musician and should be respected among peers, fans and fellow musicians alike. Homes also writes all his own lyrics.
         The bass is notably powerful in all songs on this album, (as it always is with Queens of the Stone Age), and Michael Shuman delivers key note after key note that blends in perfectly with the rest of the sounds of the musicians on ‘Like Clockwork’.
        If you’re a die hard Queens of the Stone Age song you know that although the singles sound great, they aren’t necessarily the best songs on the albums. This is true in ‘Like Clockwork as well’, and after just one listen to, ‘Smooth Sailing’ became one of my favorite tunes on the track as well as ‘As I appear Missing’ and ‘If I had a Tail’. These songs also deserve a listen to if even if you aren’t a fan , and may make you start liking Queens of the Stone Age more and more.
        The new Queens of the Stone Age album, ‘Like Clockwork’, is one of the best albums of the year so far. Josh Homme and company teased us with a sixth year wait, and to once again clarify, it was worth it. They’ve been described as a desert band, as their music belongs deep in the Nevada desert blending in with the sand dunes and tumbleweed, and that sound is ever more present on this album. So if you are by chance driving through the desert, I highly suggest a listen to ‘Lile Clockwork’, or even if your at home or at the office. This album is a full tour de fource by Queens of the Stone Age and is their best album to date.

Overall Rating: 5 Out Of 5    *****

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