Give these Queens a listen
From the Winter 2002 issue.
Songs for the Deaf
By Queens of the Stone Age
Interscope Records: 2002
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Queens of the Stone Age is definitely one of the best bands that is still fairly unknown to the general public, but should be ranked up with the best of them. If there is anything these guys know how to do, it is rock.
"Songs for the Deaf" is the band's third release since reforming from the ashes of Kryuss, and is full of great material. This lineup is a bit different from previous incarnations of the band, as it sports Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame on drums, as well as a guest appearance by Dean Ween.
The first single, "No One Knows," gives you a small taste of the original sound these guys can deliver. It is a stark contrast to the very loud "Six Shooter" in which the singer screams incessantly for a minute and twenty seconds. Although they only have two singers in the band, Josh Homme and Mark Lanegan of the Screaming Trees, it sounds as though there are about five.
Something that usually catches my ear and makes me listen a bit closer is a band's ability to play in interesting time signatures, or the ability to make a song sound like it is written in one, when in fact it is not. QOTSA are able to do both on this album. "Hangin' Tree" is set in 5/4, sung by the former lead singer for the Screaming Trees, whose flowing lyrics provide a seam for the rhythmic beat below. "First it Giveth" is a hard rocking, toe tapping ditty that you will swear is in some messed-up time signature.
With each album, their songwriting abilities get better. The only bad thing that I can say about this album is that the radio station theme with the different fake DJs in between songs gets old fairly quickly.
There is one bonus track, "Mosquito Song," that sounds eerily like a long lost "Ween" song, to finish the album of in a nice calm fashion, and with Dean in on these sessions, it is not surprising at all.
All and all, this album will rank easily in any top 10 albums of the last year, as it gets better with every listen.
Review by Keith Rice. Keith is a programmer and drummer living in Vista, Calif.