The Queens of The Stone Age are back doing whatever you call what they do is. Genre specifics be damned, …Like Clockwork is the newest offering of head Queen Josh Homme and a “Holy SHIT!!” lists of guest appearances. Dave Grohl returns on drums along with proverbial guest vocalist Mark Lanegan. Joining them are returning Queen Nick Oliveri, and wait for it…
Trent Reznor and Elton John.
Yes, Sir Elton John agreed to contribute after calling Josh and telling him they need a real queen for the album. Damn, that is some rockstar shit right there.
Anyway on the actual album, …Like Clockwork is as much a hodge podge as its’ guest stars. There is lots of experimenting going on here and at times it is very dark. But in a good way. You get a sense of what you’re getting into with opener “Keep Your Eyes Peeled”. It has a slow twangy bass line that gets interrupted by surprising power chords that disappear as quick as they showed up. “Vampyre Of Time And Memory” is very morose and seems like the perfect Mark Lanegan track except he’s not on it. One of my favorite tracks is “Kalopsia” with its’ odd mixture of Pink Floyd chill and generic Pitchfork alternative band. What makes it odder is this is the track that has Trent Reznor on it. Everyone seems to show up on “Fairweather Friends” and it shows. Song is crowded and disjointed although it does have the awesome line of “what’s it going to take to get you back in bed”. It closes out with the title track, a nice piano based song that serves as a nod to ballads from 70’s bands.
I know that may seem like QOTSA has changed course but there is lots of familiar material. “I Sat By The Ocean” is the quintessential Queens song. Catchy riff, slide, and Josh’s signature vocals. Same with “If I had a Tail” and “My God Is The Sun”.
I think you have to give Josh lots of credit for branching out on …Like Clockwork. He took a lot of chances and they paid off. It may seem like he has forgotten what got him to the dance. I like to think he has just learned some new steps.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon purchase
$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on a MP3 sale
$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop
$0-Not worth the drive space