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Queens of the Stone Age
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Queens of the Stone Age

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

You, my friend, are as common as a dumpster rat. You’re forgotten like a peanut shell beneath a bar stool. Or, maybe you’re just information, ripped out like a yellow page from a phone-booth book hanging from a chain. The end times sound like a thrill compared to this, the common times. The Era Vulgaris. At least you’re not lonely, ‘cause we’re all in it. And at least it sounds good, ’cause Queens of the Stone Age are playing it.

“It’s actually a reaction to what we think is the era vulgaris. You don’t have time. I already know that. And, so, here we go: Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. In a world of short bursts, it’s like trying to reach down someone’s throat in two seconds.”

That, my friend, was Josh Homme speaking, the singer, guitarist, mind of Queens of the Stone Age. He’s also common. As is Troy Van Leeuwen, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, member of the band.common folk. He’d like to add the following about the new album:

“Lean is a great word for it. ‘Cause we don’t have that many songs on the record. And it’s like who’s got the fucking time? Not us. We want to get the point out there. Slam, bang.”

Have Queens of the Stone Age given up? Is this when we see behind the curtain, the gears all rusted and stripped, a broken machine, the end of an era? No. Listen closely to lead single “Sick, Sick, Sick,” featuring the Casio keyboard-guitar and vocal stylings of one Julian Casablancas, leader of the Strokes, complicit in QOTSA’s determination to cut through the static. “Don’t resist,” so the song suggests. I dare you to, my friend.

Have a go at “I’m Designer” and try not to see yourself in that one. It’s a carnival crystal ball tapped by long black fingernails, a murky view into the close future where your own name means less than the labels on your shirts and devices. “The thing that’s real for us is fortune and fame/All the rest seems like work/It’s just like diamonds. in shit.” If ever there were, my friend, an anthem for an era with no anthems, this is it. Raise your fist in the air to this one. (The fist without the phone, please.)

There’s the sliding lap-steel metallic chirp of some pre-historic bird perched inside “3’s and 7’s,” a roundtable song of poker, the sport of lying, where money can be made from a straight flush or a straight face. “Into the Hollows” beckons with a rubber-band bass line, while it wonders about hiding in a place that’s deep and dark, asking if you’ll be swallowed or safe or both. “Battery Acid” buzzes like a hundred houseflies, marching and chanting exactly like something you’d be hard pressed to rinse from your skin.

These eleven new songs by Queens of the Stone Age are specifically designed to interrupt your programming. Joey Castillo’s drumming is clean as a bone, complex like a skeleton. Troy sounds like he’s trying to summon something out of his own body that he’s never even seen. Mark Lanegan’s voice is here, like a crackling fire made from stolen scrolls. Chris Goss acts as anchor, like a catcher with as many RBIs as thrown-out runners. Mr. Joshua Homme shows that you can clear six-feet-four inches and sing falsetto, you can sneer and sing harmony, you can work and you can play. He also proves, by willpower alone, that you can find a small space in this common, vulgar era to do something uncommon. There is hope, my friend. It is Era Vulgaris.

“In an age that’s fast like this, how do you fall in love with somebody? How do you become a master painter? Who sacrifices the time and effort to wait?” asks Mr. Homme. “But I love facing insurmountable odds, because someone’s gotta make it. It’s like being in the Civil War where they just stand in front of each other. You run at a line of people and they are dropping on your left and right. You can get down on the ground and cry or turn around. Or, you keep going. Someone has to make it. Why shouldn’t it be you?”

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  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on Queens of the Stone Age

    4 months ago

    Played "The Vampire Of Time And Memory" 12/11/2013 10:07 am

  • Amoeba "Music We Like"

    Amoeba "Music We Like" on Queens of the Stone Age

    7 months ago

    Queens of the Stone Age, Like Clockwork (CD) The latest album from Queens of the Stone Age has longtime fans excited for a number of reasons: it’s their first album in six years; it features high-profile guest appearances (Elton John, Trent Reznor); and it’s the first time since their classic Songs for the Deaf that Dave Grohl’s back on drums for the majority of the album, with former bassist Nick Oliveri singing backup on a couple of tracks...more at amoeba.com

  • WTTS Indy Underground

    WTTS Indy Underground on Queens of the Stone Age

    8 months ago

    more at wttsfm.com

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on Queens of the Stone Age

    9 months ago

    Played "My God Is The Sun" 08/02/2013 10:42 am

  • Glide Magazine's Best Albums of 2013 (So Far)

    Glide Magazine's Best Albums of 2013 (So Far) on Queens of the Stone Age

    9 months ago

    Queens of the Stone Age- ...Like Clockwork: Frontman Josh Homme took 6 years in between QOTSA recordings to make an album with mighty friends (Elton John, Dave Grohl Trent Reznor and among many others appear on the album), as well as experiment with the work of his influences and peers (Them Crooked Vultures)...more here

  • Spin Best Albums of 2013

    Spin Best Albums of 2013 on Queens of the Stone Age

    10 months ago

    Queens of the Stone Age, ...Like Clockwork (Matador) Plenty of bands handicap themselves by trying to be the Heaviest Group on the Planet, but Josh Homme's genius is that he decided to create the Sexiest Heavy Group on the Planet, and he's managed to achieve his goal without looking or sounding corny...read more here

  • MetalInjection

    MetalInjection on Queens of the Stone Age

    10 months ago

    Album: "…Like Clockwork"
    Score: 9/10
    Six years. more at metalinjection.net

  • NME Recommended Albums

    NME Recommended Albums on Queens of the Stone Age

    10 months ago

    Josh Homme and his all-star pals prove the virtue of taking your sweet time on a record that’s as self-assured as it is damn sexy. Most bands don’t leave their fans waiting six long years for a new album. They don’t then promote said record by getting a creepy robot to leave their fans unsettling voicemails. And they definitely don’t enlist a chef to write the album notes...more at nme.com

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on Queens of the Stone Age

    11 months ago

    Played "Keep Your Eyes Peeled" 06/03/2013 10:17 am

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on Queens of the Stone Age

    11 months ago

    Here's your Thursday options: ► Queens of the Stone Age headline a sold-out show at the Wiltern in a show that will be webcast by NPR . ► L.A. indie-pop octet t he Mowgli’s [pictured] whose major-label debut "Waiting for the Dawn" will be released June 18 on Photo Finish/Island Records, headline the Roxy Theatre, where they'll be joined by American Authors, Hunter Hunted, the Lucky Lonely and the Black 22’s. ► Swedish indie-poppers Shout Out Louds [see their video for "Illusions" here ] do the first more here

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on Queens of the Stone Age

    11 months ago

    Played "The Vampyre Of Time And Memory" 05/22/2013 10:22 am

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on Queens of the Stone Age

    11 months ago

    Played "The Vampyre Of Time And Memory" 05/22/2013 10:22 am

  • Covert Curiosity on Queens of the Stone Age

    about 3 years ago

    I remember buying this one when it was released back in 2002, and then jamming on it for quite a while before putting it on the shelf to move on to other things. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on Queens of the Stone Age

    about 3 years ago

    I'm sort of a nerd when it comes to Hot Chip. more at blogspot.com

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