23 June 2013

Queens Of The Stone Age - Queens Of The Stone Age

I saw this band live at the Big Day Out festival in 1999 at Milton Keynes Bowl but I wasn't paying too much attention. I think may have been for one of two reasons: I'd been blown away by Mercyful Fate or bored rigid by Creed. Either way, if I'd known how good this album was, I'd have made more effort to watch them. And if I'd been of sound mind, I'd have bypassed Creed altogether. Anyhow, on with the show...

Queens Of The Stone Age were formed in 1996 from the ashes of Kyuss, who were well respected in the rock world (particularly the 'stoner rock' sub-genre) thanks to their particular brand of hard rock with a few psychadelic touches as well. Alas, Kyuss split in 1995 which was a shame but I guess it's better than plodding on and on and on. This here is the QOTSA debut album which came out in 1998 amidst a sea of...whatever was happening in 1998. I can't quite remember. It was after grunge and before nu-metal (Although that was starting to become more prominent, like a zit on the night of a big date). However, I'm reviewing the reissue which contains three bonus tracks. How does it relate to Kyuss? It's not as heavy but there are some great songs on here. No sense making something heavy for heavy's sake (Mortician, anyone?) and at least Josh Homme stuck around to make some more great music. I say it like that as it's mostly JH doing guitars, bass and vocals while drums are done by Alfredo Hernandez who was also in Kyuss. There are guest appearence from quite a few others, most notably Chris Goss. The front cover is apparently Nick Olivieri. I dunno if that's true but it's deffo a geezer - look at the size of the hands!

This album is the equivalent of sitting in the back garden on a sunny day and partaking of a few brews or even something a bit more stronger or herbal. It harks back to the sounds of 70's rock with it's fuzzy distortion and lo-fi production whilst vocals are a cross between a croon and a falsetto (Only a mild one). It's quite a tasty little package thanks to some excellent tracks. Album opener "Regular John" sets the vibe straight away and others such as "Avon", "You Can't Quit Me Baby", "Mexicola" all keep the good vibes coming. My personal fave is a one called "If Only" with it's descending Stooges-esque riff, really awesome.

It's a good little album, although they would go on to release even better. Having said that, you cannot go wrong with getting this. It's certainly worthy of any music collection regardless of you personal preference.

7/10 - This is good and well worth a check.

Chris J.

This album is available on iTunes.
You can buy this album on Amazon
You can listen to this album on Spotify

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