Queens of the Stone Age "…Like Clockwork" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Tue, 28 May 2013 16:28:56
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"Does anyone ever get this right?" asks Queens of the Stone Age singer, guitarist, and all around badass Joshua Homme on "The Vampyre of Time and Memory".
Now, it's a curious question. What is Homme referring to exactly? Is he referencing a relationship? Is he referencing rock 'n' roll itself? Is he referencing some crazy Palm Desert tradition nobody outside of his Desert Sessions cohorts would even be able comprehend? Does it even matter when you sound as goddamn good as Queens of the Stone Age do on their sixth album ...Like Clockwork [iTunes link]?
We'll never know, and that's what makes …Like Clockwork such an essential piece of work from the 21st century's quintessential rock band. Nothing is easily revealed. You've got to dig past the creaking guttural guitars of "Keep Your Eyes Peeled" down a forlorn highway with Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, and Michael Shuman and land smack dab in the middle of this strange world.
For all the shivers that rumble through "Keep Your Eyes Peeled", "I Sat By the Ocean" ebbs and flows with a careening sea-soaked harmony, while "If I Had a Tail" is "robot rock" at its finest replete with a sexy swing and a hell of a chorus, "If I had a tail, I'd own the place". "My God is the Sun" charges down that desert road with bright distortion and a downright unshakable riff. It's got another classic Homme hook. On the other end of the spectrum, "The Vampyre of Time and Memory" drips like codeine over a hazy piano with his (presumably) confessional lyrics taking the spotlight.
Trent Reznor pops by for the tiki swell metal madness of "Kalopsia", yet the stand out is "Fairweather Friends". The latter is everything wonderful about Queens rolled into one song punctuated by piano from the "Rocket Man" himself Elton John and a bevy of pals dropping by including Reznor again, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and Brody Dalle.
"I Appear Missing" shudders with elegant paranoia and booming melancholy, while the title track is a fitting farewell and footnote.
So, to Homme's question, does anyone ever get this right? Well, Queens of the Stone Age certainly did with one of the decade's best rock records and a new classic. That's as right as it gets...
...Like Clockwork is out next week. The album is currently streaming over on iTunes Music.
What's your favorite Queens of the Stone Age song?