A featured album, written by Matt Doyle.
Unless you took the movie 2012 very seriously and you’ve been living under a rock for months, you know that Queens of the Stone Age are returning this summer, with their comeback album, ’… Like Clockwork’. For me and many others I’m certain, it was a long wait…
It had been 6 years since ‘Era Vulgaris‘’ release, an album that still gets shunned into the shade when held up alongside the band’s 4 other long plays, with not a sniff of any new material, only empty promises littered by the wayside. Sure, there were album re-issues, tours, festival appearances, etc. And sure, frontman Josh Homme never really went away what with Them Crooked Vultures, that band with that one really good song they played 12 times on an album, working with Eagles of Death Metal and Arctic Monkeys and varying other gigs. But none of them were that brooding, sweltering, exhilarating sound that we’d been spoiled with for 10 years.
"Unless you took the movie 2012 very seriously and you’ve been living under a rock for months, you know that Queens of the Stone Age are returning this summer, with their comeback album, ’… Like Clockwork’. For me and many others I’m certain, it was a long wait…"
… And then, on August 22nd 2012, a single word was on the mind of the Californian rockers, in the form of a Facebook update; ‘Recording…’. Since then, QOTSA have dropped increasingly cryptic and meaningless morsels of news, while fans devoured voraciously, like Pacman powering through perplexing pellets. In the past week, we’ve received the most meaningful and tangible piece of information to date; a release date (June 3rd), an album cover, and finally… a new single!
The band has managed to endure a fractured existence since its inception. Even when QOTSA first started out, it was made from the splinters of Kyuss, Homme and troubled bassist Nick Oliveri’s old group. The remaining members of Kyuss still exist today, although recently under the new legally enforced new guise of Vista Chino (That’s a whole other story though…). Since then, QOTSA has had a revolving door policy on band members. Aside from regular guest contributors, gravel voiced Mark Lanegan and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl returning to reprise their roles on vocals and drums respectively from 2002 hit Songs For The Deaf, Nick Oliveri returns to the band after he was fired amid domestic violence charges against his then girlfriend in 2003. Drummer Joey Castillo made way for recording drummer Grohl this winter, and now Jon Theodore (of The Mars Volta fame) is picking up the sticks to tour.
Fittingly, the announced list of collaborators on ‘… Like Clockwork‘ reads like a game of Chinese whispers gone awry. Probably never again will the sentence ‘I heard Alex Turner, Julian Casablancas, Trent Reznor, that guy from the Scissor Sisters (to me, the very talented Jake Shears) and god damn Elton John were going to be on this record’ be uttered. In any other situation, this would be dismissed as fragmented drivel. But not to Josh Homme. Yet none of this esteemed list of contributors appear on the new single, My God is the Sun, so the jury must still remain out until we can actually get a view under his fiery quiff to the mind at work.
And what of ‘My God is the Sun’? The song definitely calls to mind a rougher grittier reflection of ’Lullabies to Paralyse’; the piercing sounds of raised tuning guitars, endless metronomic crashes from Grohl, while Homme sweetly croons about nothing but solely walking on a lonely desert road under the blistering pious sun. The simple abstract material, coexisting with smothering stoner rock is a combination so elementary, yet joyous when done correctly.
There will certainly be more news and sneak peeks to come in the future, as we’re still in early days of the build-up to release time. Frankly though, this reviewer is sold on ‘… Like Clockwork‘ and is quite content to believe the hype early.
UPDATE #2 LISTEN TO “KALOPSIA” BELOW
Queens Of The Stone Age : ... Like Clockwork,