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Review: Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork

Released earlier this summer, advice the sixth studio album from Californian five piece, cialis sale Like Clockwork, here sees Queens of the Stone Age’s triumphant return to feral form after a several year hiatus. Josh Homme’s decision to reintroduce former bassist Nick Oliveri and powerhouse drummer, Dave Grohl into the mix has proved a fruitful fusion. The usual musical trademarks of past QOTSA albums are present, including the particular instrumental heaviness, Homme’s melodic, authoritative vocals and ferociously dark and dejected lyrics inspired by a near death experience which left Homme hospitalised for several months. Correlating the album with his traumatic experience, he expresses that he has “always thought of music as separate from reality, but there’s no escaping the reality of where this album started. I had no choice but to deal with it.”

Another great quality of the album is the artwork, created by talented UK based artist Boneface. The cover is adorned by a starkly coloured grisly image inspired by a still from the 1931 film Dracula. Boneface’s work also appears in several videos for the band. The video for the song I Appear Missing depicts a gruesome bloody animation of a bandaged man in a suit gliding across the desert. Although it may not be to everyone’s taste, it certainly is a fabulous experimental piece and much suited to QOTSA’s accomplished style.

The album opener, Keep your Eyes Peeled, provides an eerie intro of battering chains over a grinding synth leading into the main heavily distorted lick of the song. Accompanied by a steady and ominous drum section, building to Homme’s final declaring shriek of the chorus, “wake me.” Then the tense cycle begins again. A strong atmospheric inaugural track, which sets the scene for the entire album.

I Sat by the Ocean is a fantastic quasi-love song of sorts. Erogenous slide guitar merging harmoniously with irate lines such as “closer and closer, we’re just crashing ships in the night.” It is especially reminiscent of past QOTSA songs melodically, however, lyrically, it shows a newly attained maturity.

The first release from Like Clockwork, My God is the Sun, is tantamount to an orchestral piece in ways. High pitched guitars playing in unison, an octave apart, the menacing  rise of tempo leading to a slower more spent false ending culminating in a final explosion of noise, “Heal them, like fire from above.”

A deviation from the usual QOTSA formula takes shape in the song The Vamypre of Time and Memory. This song is a slow, mellow piano accompaniment with Homme’s voice taking an equally laxer approach to deliverance. Again, lyrically it is a more observant and melancholy variation on QOTSA’s past works.

Like Clockwork features a multitude of guest collaborators including Sir Elton John, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Brody Dalle (The Distillers). The now critically acclaimed album is available through Matador Records. The band are also scheduled for a gig in Dublin in the O2 arena this November 2013.

9/10

Geneva Pattison.

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