Queens of the Stone Age
On some of the slower, more sedate songs, the band seemingly can’t decide if they’re heavy adult rock, or on the faster, louder songs, heavy rock, but that’s a minor quibble. This is excellent no-frills rock, smart, and extremely contemplative. The slower songs move with a lot of nuances, the faster ones tear it up. The guitar playing is wonderful, never too much or too little the drumming is precise and not overdone, and frontman Josh Homme has never sounded better.
Homme was hospitalized for 13 days, and then bedridden for four months due to complications of routine knee surgery. He sank into a deep depression during that time, and his bandmates pulled him out of it by getting him to work on …Like Clockwork. Needless to say, he had a lot to think about, but for all the darkness, this album is about moving forward. In Homme’s case, he could run away mentally from the situation he was in, or get into the thick of it. He chose to run toward it. and it shows, because these songs aren’t downers. They’re more like waking up after a very bad, long day and night and finding it’s a new, different day.
Heavy rock can be a sludgy mess. This is anything but. Lean, economical, exciting, a headlong rush, and for me, desert rock at it’s best. The fans will have a ball with this. If it’s a little sedate, so what, it’s still QOTSA. This album is a great way for new fans to get into this band, and they will have fun with it, too.