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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queens of the Stone Age - Massively Rated, 8 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Rated Rx (Audio CD)
Queens of the Stone Age arose in the 1990s out of desert storm created by the ashes of metal gods Kyuss, a band who featured both the dynamic presence of lead singer/guitarist Josh Homme and the wizard bearded bass fiend Nick Oliveri (if you have never heard "Gardenia" seek it out now). The special thing about QOTSA is that they are a unpredictable, super intelligent hard rock band who defy hard rock clichés. Homme maybe riff obsessed but they are classic riffs with interesting twists and turns, even on something as basic as the greatest steal of German "ommpah" music ever on the brilliant "No one knows". What other band could generate a debate currently raging on the Amazon music forum at the moment whether "Josh Homme is the sexiest musician alive"? Frankly I am rather agnostic about the point but its further proof that QOTSA have a cool credibility and remain the US's most vibrant heavy rock band not least of all in the ability to attract stellar "side musicians" like Dave Grohl and Mark Lanagan.

What a treat then to have their best album released (it was of course voted as the NME writers' album of the year in 2000) in this deluxe edition containing in addition a blistering performance from the Reading festival in 2000 and some wonderful curiosities including a sort of a cover of Carly Simon's "Your so vain" and a nice version of Romeo Void's new wave classic, "Never Say Never". It is the Rated Rx however that is the star of the show. In the ten years since its release it has aged wonderfully. Is there a better album opener on any stoner record than the stuttering "Feel good hit of the summer"? "In "Lost art of Keeping a secret" the band possess one of the funkiest rock songs ever recorded with Homme's scintillating vocal exclaiming "Leap of faith, do you doubt/Cut you in, I just cut you out" before the anthem like chorus explodes and a tight guitar solo follows. Then we have two songs that vie for the title "best song on the album" firstly the volcanic grower "In the fade" sung by Lanagan which reminds you of his scintillating work on Screaming Trees classic "Dust" album and the huge eight minute plus scuzz riff juggernaut "I think I lost my headache". The latter Sabbath like behemoth just steals it not least because of its one of the most epic songs to ever end with a 3 minute insidious avant garde horns infused solo. At a wider level the loud Olivieri punk rock screamer "Tension Head" is all controlled fury; then there is the trippy pop metal of "Monsters in your Parasol"; while finally the bongo driven and riff heavy "Better living through chemistry" is wonderfully sinister although some respite can be found in the gentle instrumental "Lightning song".

Homme and Oliveri were of course to bitterly part at a later stage when the bassist was fired prior to the recording of "Lullabies to Paralyze". Yet Rated R along with "Songs for the deaf" represents their finest work. Overall the extended Rated Rx is hugely welcome visitor to our shores, it is incredibly focused, exhilarating and one of the most storming albums committed to vinyl. Thus please feel free to join me in the reprise. Altogether now "Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol....".
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Aug 2010 17:33:29 BDT
.......Co-Co-Co-Caine.

Must agree this and 'Songs For The Deaf' are probably the bands best work to date (however I do feel that 'Lullabies To Paralyze' is extremely overlooked) but 'Rated R' just takes it for me. This album will always bring back great memories for me, driving around in my beat up Ford Fiesta with this blaring out on my old worn out tape deck. This record along with 'Goat' by The Jesus Lizard nearly rattled the paint work off the car. Happy days.

Curiously, by the time 'Songs For The Deaf' was released I had upgraded to a newer car with a CD player but the rush of driving long distances (as I used to frequently do) whilst playing that album at ridicoulus levels never gave me the same thrill. See, its the 'getting there' that you remember most.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Aug 2010 13:53:45 BDT
Red on Black says:
Mr Chinaski I went through a phase of buying pre recorded cassettes rather than vinyl except my then car stereo seemed to enjoy feasting upon them! I still drive very long distances and have to say that the old CD changer is my best friend as is the newer connection where you can plug the I pod in. Indeed Rated R has been in the car for many years and if the proverbial gun was held to my head its the QOTSA album that I would take on the Desert Island.

Cheers R o B
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Red on Black
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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