Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age

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Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age

Rock & Pop - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Interscope - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 12/06/2000 - 606949068325

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Review of "Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age"

published 21/12/2000 | DJWally
Member since : 20/12/2000
Reviews : 45
Members who trust : 6
About me :
Pro Beautiful, eclectic music
Cons Possibly slightly too strange for the mainstream rocker
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
How does it compare to the artist's other releases

"Restricted to Everyone, Everywhere"

Queens of the Stone Age: Rated ‘R’ Updated 05.09.2001, (cos my original version was crap.)

Wow. This album is something else. At the moment, with rock music seemingly in the grip of endless Nu Metal and Pop-Punk clones, this is an album that truly pushes the boundaries of the rock music genre.

The band themselves are something of a collective, based around Josh Homme (Vocals, Guitar) and Nick Oliveri (Vocals, Bass), with numerous guest musicians. Homme and Oliveri were both formerly of Desert Rock gods Kyuss, although Oliveri has also spent time with punk nutters The Dwarves, under the moniker Rex Everything.

If you’ve listened to both bands, you may have some idea of what to expect, elephantine guitars, snaking bass and warped punk “attitood”. Whilst all these elements are present on the debut, there’s also a whole lot more to this album, and, indeed the band than their CVs would indicate.

The track listing is as follows:
1. Feel Good Hit Of The Summer
2. The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
3. Leg Of Lamb
4. Auto Pilot
5. Better Living Through Chemistry
6. Monsters In The Parasol
7. Quick And To The Pointless
8. In The Fade
9. Tension Head
10. Lightning Song
11. I Think I Lost My Headache

“Feel Good…” is the perfect opener, a solid bass bludgeon over a lyric comprised of a list of pharmaceuticals. This seems to be, more than anything, a sly dig at the “Stoner Rock” genre that lazy critics seem to be willing to lump this band into. That said, it does rock in a convincingly unhinged manner.

“The Lost Art…” is up next, infinitely more hinged than it’s predecessor. A chugging guitar/bass/piano riff gives way to a sublime chorus. On my first listen to this album, this song stuck out, and now, over a year later, I still love it.

“Leg Of Lamb” is a quirky little number, not exactly “rock”, but a little to warped to fit comfortably as “pop”, in my book at least. It’s a good song, but one of my least favourite on the album.

Next is “Auto Pilot”, and Nick’s first turn at lead vocals. It’s a beautiful song, reminiscent of the Foo Fighter’s more tender moments, but lyrically, it mines something slightly darker: “Saw you down there on the marble slab/ The best trip that I’ve ever had.” Add to that some beautiful lead guitar riffs from Josh and a wonderful vocal harmony on the bridge, and you have one of the best songs on the album.

The epic “Better Living Through Chemistry” follows. Trippy and atmospheric, it seems to justify, in part the “Stoner” tag they were earlier trying to refute. It is however, a wonderful piece of music. After that, “Monsters In The Parasol” seems to be almost standard rocking fare. The twist comes in the spiralling pre-chorus riff and effected vocals of the chorus itself.

“I don’t even know what I’m doing here.” Thus begins Nick’s next contribution “Quick And To The Pointless”. A short, punky number where he lays bare his obsession for young girls, it lives up to its name, and manages to scare the crap out of most of the first time listeners.

After that, we have the ennui-laced “In The Fade”, with guest vocals from Mark Lanegan (now a full-time member of the band). Lyrically, it seems to deal with a general boredom with the rock n’ roll lifestyle. Never have I heard the line “You live till you die.” delivered with such apathy, bordering on despair. Musically, the backing is low, rich and lush, recalling “Auto Pilot”.

Back to the rock, then, because, after a short, uncredited reprise of “Feel Good…” We’re onto track 9; “Tension Head”, featuring Nick’s ravaged scream. It’s another riffy rocker, a bit more “metal” than most of the stuff on the album.

After the acoustic instrumental “Lightning Song”, we’re faced with album closer “I Think I Lost My Headache”. An off-kilter riff breaks into a fairly straight-ahead rock song. As the song ends however, most of the instrumentation fades, treating us to the sound of a horn section playing the intro riff. Personally, this is my least favourite song on the album.

What we have here, is an eclectic, original rock album. The only criticism I would lay at the feet of this album is that it really isn’t for everyone. Metallers may not find an adequate supply of down-tuned angst, and the vocals, going from almost choirboy to full-on scream, bypass the de rigeur cookie-monster effect. Also, it may not be the most immediate of album for some. A lot of the songs take two or three listens to get into, but once you’re in, you’ll never wanna leave.

Recommended for fans of: Foo Fighters, Sugar, Monster Magnet. And anyone sick of the Bizkit-centric rock scene and looking for a change.

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Comments on this review

  • Paiceyjohn published 26/10/2001
    QotSA are just about the best band around right now (IMHO). This review confirms reverything I've heard about an album I should've bought a long while ago. It sounds like a real "progreession" (don't like using that word, but hey, ho) from the first album. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Chris Goss was involved with this album in some way, shape or form. Is this true? The songs I've heard from it so far would seem to bear this out.... Cheers, PJ
  • Mauri published 18/09/2001
    Good review, I loved 'The lost art of keeping a secret' I must check out the album. Thanks
  • Connoisseur_Haggler1 published 21/12/2000
    hi, good opinion. hey, just thought I'd point out if you want to get rid of thsoe weird characters at the start of your opinion ‘R’ just remember to place that text in quotes " like this" not 'like this' ok, hope this helps. ciao!
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Rock & Pop - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Interscope - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 12/06/2000 - 606949068325

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EAN: 606949068325


Listed on Ciao since: 05/09/2000