Saturday, June 16, 2007

Era Vulgaris - Queens Of The Stone Age

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It's no secret that I have a strange "thing" for Josh Homme, head honcho of Queens Of The Stone Age, and I'm secure enough in my masculinity to admit it.

It's also no secret that I happen to think that the Queens are on of the most exhilarating and vital rock bands around today.

Which means that this album, whilst still "good", disappoints me quite a bit.

Whereas previous efforts have always shown some cohesion, this seems to suffer greatly from the kitchen sink approach. It's as if the decision has been made to toss everything in and see what sticks.

Sick, Sick, Sick (with Julian Casblancas on vocals; not that you'd particularly notice) and 3's & 7's are up there with anything they Queens have ever put on record and certain other tracks, such as River In The Road, easily capture your imagination as well.

But what the record lacks is any sense of consistency. Yes, we know Homme's predisposition to taking us on a wrong turn, but there is nothing that brings this album together, unlike on previous efforts where there was a certain stylistic and artistic thread running through.

So don't mistake me, I do like this album. But compared to Rated R, Songs For The Deaf and Lullaby's to Paralyze it's merely good, not great. Some bands could get away with an album like this, but Queens of the Stone Age can be expected to do a hell of lot better.

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