12 July 2013

Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze

On the opening an album cover that is headed by a sheep’s mask, I am confronted by a parody of a child’s first story book from times gone by. The album takes you through dark poetic descriptions, ending with a tableau of men masked as beasts in a wood.

So yes, arty kind of dark-is that what they were looking for-let’s see if the music reflects it...

‘I pen up your mouth; touch your lips to mine.  That we may make a kiss that can pierce through death, a survival your words branded my mind.  This makes more sense than the last page which tries to cover up meaning and twists it so that it is entirely obscured in mumbles rather than a revelation’.

Josh Homme has a nicely mellow voice despite the words, his tone is rich and his octave range is interestingly varied, the man has talent.  The music is meaty and wailing the instruments varied and layered, the rhythm marches you in an undefined direction.  The lead guitar flowing inbetween the weavings of the forward moving meaty march is suddenly cut off.  This track has ended. No pretence here. No long drawn out endings.

This should not be listened to when your not in good mood, it is hardly an uplifting number.  It swings between Alice In chains-esque groans, to what I can only describe as the funky blues like tuned down riff, and their own blend of lap steel, flute and pianos.  

From track six onwards maybe this is what would have happened to Pink Floyd if they were dragged back in time and asked to remake their first album.  A little further in, I found myself tapping my foot and appreciating the last bonus track which is reminiscent of Clutch. 

If I’m honest my taste range can be anything from P!nk to Seasick Steve, Pearl Jam (always Pearl Jam) to Sepultra, and I found myself enjoying Depeche Mode on the radio today and reminiscing about Paradise Lost and their album ‘One Second’  so who knows what I’m going to like from one day to the next....  

But – I like the way the tracks don’t appear too processed on this, the sounds are honest – the distortion nice and simple and the use of fairly frantic percussion nice and unaffected.  Listen closely and you can faintly hear the fingering on the frets and the reverb of sticks hitting there mark. Yes I like this.

My inherent difficulty of deciphering separate words prevents me from hearing the lyrics, but I get the overall impression they are telling a story : the obligatory love gone wrong or unrequited with a hint of Doors Nihilistic depressive attitude, bit overused in this genre but they make it their own.

No shivers down my spine or rush of adrenaline, but I’d not actively switch them off if they popped up onto my cars' iPod.  Not bad lads, not bad at all

7 out of ten - this is good and worth checking out

You can purchase the album from here

You can read more about the album on the Wikipedia page here 

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the original release of the album on Spotify here

Alternatively you can listen to the tour version of the album here

Here is a video for the first single "Little Sister"

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