Release Date: Jun 12, 2007
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Josh Homme is a man of many talents, but he's not quite a man of his time. He floats outside of it, sniping and sneering at it, but he's not part of it -- he's too in love with rock & roll to belong to a decade that's seeing the music's slow decline. You could say that Queens of the Stone Age keep rock's flame burning, but unlike other new-millennium true believers -- like Jack White, for instance -- Homme lacks pop skills or even the interest in crossing over (which isn't the same thing as lacking hooks, mind you), and unlike the stoner metal underground that provided his training ground, he's not insular; he thrives on grand visions and grander sound.
The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Thursday June 14 2007 In the review below we said Mick Avory was the Kinks' bassist; Peter Quaife was the bassist, Mick Avory was the drummer. The chemistry of a rock band is a curious and imponderable thing. History is littered with bands who, perplexingly, found themselves struggling after jettisoning an apparently ancillary member.
Following the firing of mainstay bassist Nick Oliveri after 2002's near perfect Songs for the Deaf, whose stellar supporting cast included Dean Ween, Dave Grohl, and the chimney-smoke croon of Mark Lanegan, last Queen standing Josh Homme dominated 2005's ghostly Lullabies to Paralyze, a reintroduction of sorts to the band's eponymous debut. With fifth full-length Era Vulgaris, like 2000's R, QOTSA purposely break the mold, mindlessly flirting with disaster but never letting it sink in. The monolithic march of "Sick, Sick, Sick" is the new feel-good hit of the summer, and Homme's trademark guitar pyrotechnics and arrogance brand "I'm Designer" and "Run, Pig, Run.