…Like Clockwork– Queens of the Stone Age
I was really excited to hear that QOTSA would be releasing new music this year and while I expected the release to be good, I didn’t think it would blow my mind. That’s exactly what their latest effort did. Even though there was a ton a great music this year, this is the one album I instantly fell in love with. It’s ten songs of perfection with Josh Homme and crew back and better than ever. Each song is a hit; even the band knew this seeing as about half of the songs were released as singles.
What’s interesting about the album is it’s a step back in terms of sound for their band. For the most part they’re pretty guitar centric with epic and wild solos taking over the song. Here, the guitar takes a back seat. While it’s still present it’s used to create memorable, dreamy, and haunting riffs, like the one found on “Kalopsia,” instead of wild solos that stick in your head. This musical shift also allows the band to play around with their sound by adding different elements, such as melancholic piano riffs like the one heard on the title track. Another way the sound has changed is the songs are slower and aren’t as intense as their past work. While this could’ve caused the album to drag, the band actually makes it work where you don’t miss their wild sound too much.
Though most songs on the album are really depressing, there’s something about them that grabs you in the most captivating way. Whether it’s Homme’s sweet sounding falsetto vocals or the haunting images like “Shock me awake/Tear me apart/Pinned like a note in a hospital gown/Prison of sleep/Deepened now/A rabbit hole never to be found…again” from “I Appear Missing,” there’s something about these songs that are so damn amazing. I think it’s safe to say this album is probably their best one yet. It’s really tight and well focused. The lack of guitars makes the listener pay attention more to the bleak lyrics, which they can see play out before them.
There are so many amazing songs here it’s hard to pick just one. “Smooth Sailing” shows off the funky side of the band, while “I Appear Missing” will make you want to curl up in the corner with its bleak lyrics and images. Out of everything I heard this year, this is the album I could play over and over again and never get tired of it. When you listen to the record you can tell the band put a lot of time and effort in it. It doesn’t sound rushed or sloppily put together. Even though fans had to wait six years for the new material, it’s safe to say it was definitely worth it. If you still haven’t heard the album, what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and check it out!