Album review

Queens Of The Stone Age :
Songs For The Deaf

Interscope Records

Queens Of The Stone Age : Songs For The DeafFor those of you not in the know: A few years ago ex-Kyuss bloke Josh Homme got a call from his lawyer telling him that he had inherited the elusive cool formerly owned by both Royal Trux and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Yeah, that cool.
    Josh didn't hesitate in claiming the cool as his own, and placed it carefully in his pickup before driving out into the desert. Like attracts like, and soon Josh was joined by Nick Oliveri, scary naked bloke from the coolest punk band on the planet, The Dwarves. Together they recorded a stoner rocking self-titled album. It was cool, but the world didn't know it.
    The world might not have been paying attention, but the cool people were. Follow-up Rated R boasted production from Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality - coolest retro band on the planet), and a guest spot from Mark Lanegan, the coolest grunge vocalist on the planet.
    Drug-addled desert rock was born, and songs like Feel Good Hit Of The Summer and The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret had the press declaring their undying devotion. Queens Of The Stone Age were officially the coolest band on the planet.

How do you follow that up? If you're Queens Of The Stone Age you make Lanegan a permanent member and get Foo Fighters and ex-Nirvana man Dave Grohl to do your drumming. Yes I know, this is getting silly . . .
    So we know it's cool, but is Songs For The Deaf actually any good? It's no surprise to find out that the band are still peddling a sound that's half Masters Of Reality's retro-cool and half stoner rock chug, as practised by Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Unida. There isn't another Feel Good Hit Of The Summer here, but You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire, No One Knows, Hangin' Tree and the exquisite The Sky Is Fallin' all hit the quality mark.
    Queens Of The Stone Age aren't doing anything new, but they are doing it well. Songs For The Deaf may not be the best album you'll buy this year, but I have no doubt it'll be the coolest.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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