Friday 14 June 2013

Queens Of The Stone Age Rise Up From The Dead

Singer and front man Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age almost died during a knee surgery. He had no interest in making music anymore after that, which never happened to him before. He had to find his love for making music again and this dark period caused the long wait of six years for a new QotSA album. In the meantime drummer Joey Castillo left the band, although he still helped out on a few songs. Fortunately the band has a few decent befriended drummers to fill up the gap.

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

Ahead of the release, videos for a few songs were released as a teaser. The four videos, later combined into a 15 minute clip, were showing somewhat eerie but great animations by the artist Boneface. They were part of a thought out promotional campaign around the new album. For sure everyone had to know about it. At the same time more and more details were revealed. Including the many guest appearances and cameos by famous artists.

Master drummer Dave Grohl(who else) filled in the vacant drum throne together with The Mars Volta's Jon Theodore, who's also touring with the band. Usual suspects like Alain Johannes, Alex Turner, Mark Lanegan and Trent Reznor all offer their contribution on the record, although in some cases they are small. Surprisingly Elton John and lost son Nick Oliveri helped out too. But of course the core of the band is still Josh Homme & Co.

His close-to-death experience had a big influence on the record. It does have the heavy killer signature grooves that are so characteristic for the band. But the songs also contain more melody and almost all of them seem to hold some tragic undertone. Homme explained, that when you're down on the ground you find out who your real friends are. This is the subject for 'Fairweather Friends'.

It seems every single time I was bleeding
Broken promises that never came true
Well it ain't so long before the dawn
When the sun is gone so are
Well, so are you

Homme is displaying himself as a first class crooner on ballad 'The Vampyre Of Time And Memory', like he already did on the Them Crooked Vultures track 'Interlude With Ludes'. 'If I Had A Tail' could become an instant fan favourite with its irresistible groove that would have fit the TCV record as well.

Mostly the songs are mid tempo instead of the familiar up tempo stadium rockers, or start out like that before they explode into heavy riffs like 'Kalopsia'. The band had to dig deep into themselves this time to reach their inner core, the essence of QotSA. The result is a non-standard QotSA album, that offers plenty of variation, new insights and multiple layers. Maybe the fans that like the hard stuff, need more time to get used to it. But even for those fans ...Like Clockwork has plenty to offer. QotSA had to be raised from the dead, like the mummy being raised from the dead by a crow in the video for 'I Appear Missing'. They had to reinvent themselves, but in the end came out stronger than ever.

Listen to ...Like Clockwork on Spotify

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