27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Moving to the top of the pile...
, 11 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Songs For The Deaf (Audio CD)
Queens Of The Stone Age have seen their stock rise steadily over the last few years and with 'Songs For The Deaf' it seems set to reach new heights, the steady increases multiplying into an unstoppable force.
Recruiting Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan certainly helps. What band wouldn't be improved by these two talents. Grohl is back doing what he does best, adding a light and shade to the overall sound that isn't witnessed often enough from the drumming in most rock groups (including his own, overrated, Foo Fighters). Lanegan adds his considerable songwriting talent to three of the tracks on offer, including the superb single, 'No One Knows' with its jaunty guitar motif and all-too-hummable refrain.
'No One Knows' forms the centrepiece of the opening triumvirate of tracks, all three swept along on the kind of riffs most bands would kill for. 'First It Giveth' in particular gets the pulse racing and some consideration to likely speeding fines should be given by anyone planning to play this song whilst driving.
The album takes on many moods after its high voltage opening, evoking 60s surf music ('Another Love Song'), 70s glam ('Gonna Leave You' and 'Do It Again'), Zeppelin-esque mystique ('The Sky Is Falling' and the awesome 'Mosquito Song') and the obligatory Black Sabbath homage ('God Is In The Radio'). There's even a Kinks cover version in there ('Everybody's Gonna Be Happy').
This may all make it sound like a record from another age. And in a way it is, no-one out there is making records like this at the moment. Yet there is still a very contemporary feel to the overall sound of the album.
It's also refreshing to hear a band using influences to do just that - influence - rather than copying them wholesale. It adds a layer of texture to the sound that ensures you can't help but be drawn in. Nowhere is that more in evidence than on 'Mosquito Song', Josh Homme's warm yet weary vocal eating into your mind and soul with an intimacy most vocalists can't even imagine.
The Queens Of The Stone Age: the kings of a new era.
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