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Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

June 6, 2013

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It’s been six long years in between Queens of the Stone Age albums, but that’s not to say that frontman Josh Homme has just been sitting around twiddling his thumbs.

In the intervening years since QOTSA’s last release Josh Homme has kept himself busy  with his other two bands; Eagles of Death Metal & Them Crooked Vultures.  An album with each band and an extensive tour with the latter , as well as producing Arctic Monkeys third effort ‘Humbug’, a second baby with wife Brody Dalle and knee surgery all served to delay any start on a new Queens of the Stone Age record.

Losing a drummer midway through the recording of …Like Clockwork  meant that recording was further delayed. Dave Ghrol was drafted in, but this then meant working around his hectic schedule, meaning the process of actually recording didn’t come along as quickly as it might otherwise have, but it’s been worth the wait.

…Like Clockwork has all the things you wanted from a Queens of the Stone Age album, the sludge is there, prominent in opener ‘Keep Your Eyes Peeled’. The straight ahead rock is there as demonstrated by lead single ‘My God is the Sun’.  The things you didn’t know you wanted from a QOTSA album  are there as well with ‘Kalopsia’ sounding like you could be trapped on a merry go round in the fairground of your nightmares. The highlight of the album though has to be ‘If I Had a Tail’, which has worked its way into the very fibre of my being and is a powerful swaggering slice of bluesy rock.

The album offers a strong line up of collaborators, such as Elton John, Trent Reznor, Alex Turner & Jake Shears. Also appearing was former full band members Mark Lanagan, and Nick Oliveri. The latter making his first appearance since being unceremoniously kicked out of the band by Homme  in 2004.  Often with a line up of famous collaborators they can feel either shoehorned in, or the song they guest on can often revolve around them but it doesn’t seem that is the case with …Like Clockwork as the focus is at all times with Homme in terms of the vocals, where as in the past vocal duties have been shared around on QOTSA records.

Queens of the Stone Age have been long time favourites of mine; dating back to seeing them at Reading Festival 2000 and the then 13 year old me being absolutely blown away, at the time having never heard anything quite like them. Thirteen years on and there’s still not a band quite like them and …Like Clockwork certainly proves this.

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