|Queens Of The Stone Age / Villains|
|Add Date:||2017-09-08|| ||Pull Date:||2017-11-10|| |
|Week Ending:||17 Sep|
QOTSA drew some flak earlier this year when they announced that Mark Ronson—he of “Uptown Funk” infamy—would be producing Villains. But rest assured, this is still very much a QOTSA album. There are some changes to the sound: It’s crisper, tighter, and drier, scraping the sludge off the band’s previous outings. And it’s a noticeably more uptempo record than anything they’ve done before. QOTSA have always exceled at groove-driven rock, but this is the first QOTSA album I could think of as “boogie rock.” All this said, QOTSA are at their best when they stick to their calling cards—guitar riffs that hit like blunt force trauma and brooding, eerie production. All the same, this is a QOTSA album; if you don’t get some kind of enjoyment out of this album, you probably hate rock ‘n’ roll.|
FCCs: 3, 5, 6
Favorites: 1, 2, 4, 8
1) “Feet Don’t Fail Me” (5:42)* – The first minute-and-a-half is all buildup, so cue the track up to about 1:30 before you play it for the airwaves. Once the actual song begins, it’s a brisk, riff-driven number that gets the album started on a high note. Quiet bridge from about 4:10-5:05, so compensate for the volume.
2) “The Way You Used to Do” (4:34)* – A buzzsaw guitar riff and handclaps run throughout the song. Even when the drums kick in, this song feels light and airtight, almost like it glides above the ground. Song ends at 4:15ish, so cut the song off after that.
3) “Domesticated Animals” (5:20) – FCC “g******.” While taking the Lord’s name in vain has got me in trouble with my mother, I forget what the FCC has to say about it. (Indecency, or just profanity?) As for the song itself, it rides a choppy guitar riff that gradually gets louder as the song goes on, aided by Homme’s robotic delivery of the chorus. The last 30 seconds of the song are nearly silent, so end it early at 4:55ish.
4) “Fortress” (5:27)* – Subdued, overdriven guitar in the background; Homme begins singing around the 0:45-mark, and the song gradually builds in intensity. It’s a moodier cut that’s less danceable than what comes before it. Sounds more like classic QOTSA.
5) “Head Like a Haunted House” (3:21) – FCC “f***,” “g******.” If it weren’t for the FCCs, this song would be the shortest and fastest cut—another classic QOTSA that rides a blistering guitar riff and thundering bass.
6) “Un-Reborn Again” (6:41) – FCC “s***.” The word “blowjob” is sung, and while it’s not exactly a curse, it may run afoul of the FCC’s obscenity rules. It’s got a good guitar riff, but the song kind of outstays its welcome.
7) “Hideaway” (4:18) – Possible FCC violation when Homme sings “I’m all dressed up, no one left to blow.” It’s another moody cut that leans on the rhythm section for most of the song—a lecherous bassline and lockstep drumming. It simmers without ever really exploding into volcanic rock riffs.
8) “The Evil Has Landed” (6:31)* – Dry, strutting guitar riffs. Extended guitar solos dominate most of the middle section, before the song picks up the pace after the five-minute mark. It can drag a little bit, especially in that middle section, but the riffs are killer, among the best that the album has to offer.
9) “Villains of Circumstance” (6:09) – Another song with a long intro (you can skip the first 30 seconds). It’s a brooding, atmospheric that picks up around the choruses, but it’s largely a classic QOTSA ballad.