On 31st March 2005 at 19:44 Anonymous 1944 wrote...
I enjoy how each qotsa is vastly different to the other while at the same time all kicking ass
By Queens of the Stone Age
Does the Josh Homme-Nick Oliveri rift really matter? It has preoccupied most writers reviewing this record, and it has certainly provided plenty of column inches in the NME. It also contributes a fine song, Everyone Knows That You Are Insane, to Lullabies. Indeed, this is one of an opening series of nine songs that are almost flawless, showing that Homme doesn't really suffer without Oliveri.
The album's opener, This Lullaby is a gentle acoustic prelude, featuring Mark Lanegan, surely the one man you would not allow near the bedside of a sleeping infant to fulfil such a function.
After this, it is full throttle. Homme has refined the hard rock formula to its basic rudiments. Granite hard chords, swooning melodies and head shaking rhythms are the order of the day. Medication, Everyone Knows That You Are Insane and Tangled Up In Plaid race by. Billy Gibbons supplies suitably world-weary riffs on the slower stomp of Burn The Witch. Then it's back into top gear for the lament to lost love on In My Head and the lean single Little Sister.
This opening salvo shows how QOTSA have the handy knack, common to most good bands, of assimilating and displaying a wide range of influences, without being restricted by them. There are hints of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Bowie and early 70s Stones. Best of all the mournful beauty of I Never Came is reminiscent of Avalon-era Roxy Music.
This is also the point at which the album veers from nuggets of taut hard rock into a disturbing twilight. Someone's In The Wolf and The Blood Is Love drag you into a zone of psychedelic illusion, although it is more of a disillusion. Love and women are the primary cause it seems. Skin on Skin is positively coital, yet on the next track Broken Box Homme snarls threateningly "Take that broken pussy elsewhere," presumably to a former love.
This suite of songs is all fractured chords and pulsating lascivious bass lines, somehow befitting the Ferry-esque yearning, which Homme has acquired since Songs for the Deaf. His cosmic swoon just about maintains order over the musical fragmentation.
This impressive set closes with the Long Slow Goodbye a beautiful lament, Homme sounding as vulnerable as he ever has with the repeated line "Where have you gone again my sweet."
It is a thoroughly compelling record. Beginning with a series of tracks tighter than a fashionista's drainpipe, it slowly enters the forest at twilight, taking on greater complexity as it goes. It is most certainly Homme's triumph.