18 June 2013

Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf

Well readers, the hour has cometh for this album to be reviewed. Under the orders of The Editor, Queens Of The Stone Age is getting quite a full discographical shakedown from all the writers of ATTIWLTMOWOS in the wake of their most recent release, Like Clockwork, so it's time to bring some moonshine to the foray. Now from the outset, as a die hard rock fan, I'm always interested to hear some new pieces that sound just that little different from what we're used to hearing on the radio in terms of the songwriting, the musical styling as well as the production, and frontman, guitarist and creative force Josh Homme certainly knows a thing or two of all these fronts.

After the breakthrough and critically acclaimed album Rated R, quite a precedence was set for their follow up, Songs For The Deaf. And like Rated R, the vocals are shared between Homme, Mark Lanegan and Nick Oliveri, all with their own contrasting facets. Oliveri, for example, with assured and sometimes outlandish punk/metal crossover that you'd associate with Rage Against The Machine, while Lanegan shows classy overtones not dissimilar to Tom Waits and David Bowie. Also worth noting that a certain Dave Grohl lends his drumming skills to the party.

If there's one important criteria that an album should follow and that's a continuing storyline throughout the whole hour and Songs For The Deaf  for sure conforms to that ideal. The nucleus here is based on many rock fillers with some original chords, simple but steadfast lyrics. However SFTD is littered with radio chatter and a plethora of channel switching between songs suggesting Homme's mind is unsettled and never at ease. The Oliveri sung You think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire and Six Shooter are spiky and menacing, although he does show a less raucous side with Gonna Leave You. No One Knows and First It Giveth are Homme-led fillers, amusing, ironic and sinister at times, while the Lanegan sung Song For The Dead and Hangin' Tree are sharp are almost Hendrix pastiche in their own right without being overtly retro. Bringing down the curtain is the acoustical, strings and horns filled The Mosquito Song.

In perspective the album makes for very entertaining yet haunting listening. Not too discomforting although there's always a lyrical edge that does guarantee that the ride won't be quite as smooth as you might hope. As distinctive notes and riffs go, Songs For The Deaf is an album that warrants at least one listen in a lifetime from all and has classic written all over it. To overlook it would be insane. M. Richardson 18/06/2013

9 out of ten. Almost perfect........Almost.

You can purchase the album here on Amazon

You can listen to Songs For The Deaf here on Spotify

You can follow QOTSA's latest activities on their official website here

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