“Noir rock” is probably the best way to describe the latest album from Queens of the Stone Age. It’s definitely more flattering than simply calling their sixth album weird and strange because It’s an odd little album for sure. If you were hoping for an expansion of the chugga chugga riffage of Era Vulgaris or maybe a return to form after their recent touring stint playing the self titled in full then you’re in for a shock.
“Keep Your Eyes Peeled” with its baritone sax noodling sets the mood for …Like Clockwork immediately establishing a tone like no other Queens… record ever. It emotes a sinister and dark tone that permeates throughout the entirety of …Like Clockwork and also sets the stage for an abundance of songs that feature unexpected time changes that keep listeners on their toes. Following with my current obsession “I Sat By The Ocean” which is so QOTSA it’s ridiculous, mastermind Josh Homme once again proves why he’s the master of the hypnotic riff.
“If I Had A Tail” follows the macabre trend while Homme takes a course in the Neil Fallon school of songwriting with lyrics like “Itchy gitchy/Oh la la/The do run run/ You won’t get far” starting off a sonic journey that also shows off the talents of guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen. If you want true rockin QOTSA then first single “My God Is The Sun” is about the closest you’ll get here. Otherwise, prepare to be dazzled and astounded at a Queens of the Stone Age album that sounds nothing like a Queens of the Stone Age album. And regardless of the guests that have been announced already, it’s hard to tell where they are here. Sure, Trent Reznor’s vox are pretty apparrent on “Kalopsia” but if you’re waiting for this grand Nick Oliveri reappearance or some Alex Turner bravado, you won’t find that here either. Maybe the grand design of …Like Clockwork and its abundance of guests was to draw people in and absolutely stun them with a phenomenal album. Even if that wasn’t the plan, …Like Clockwork speaks for itself creating a whole new genre of music and a whole new sound and era for Queens of the Stone Age.
…Like Clockwork is available in a plethora of editions on June 4th through Matador Records. Get yours here.