The first major label release from the highly acclaimed and unusually street-credited Queens Of The Stone Age practically blindsides you. Given the history of some of its members (Josh Homme, Dave Grohl), this album was expected to be big, and it lived up to the hype.
Josh Homme - Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Nick Oliveri - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Troy Van Leeuwen - Guitar, Backup Vocals
Mark Lanegan - Vocals, Backup Vocals
Dave Grohl - Drums & Percussion
Track 01 - "Millionaire"
Possibly the most energetic (within sane limits) song of the album, millionaire starts with a faint drum beat and 30 seconds in, rips right into the song. The riffs are bold and straightforward and just make you want to right out mosh. Nick Oliveri does a great job on voals in this song, blending melodic with screaming. This can almost be described as a speed-induced fight song.
Track 02 - "No One Knows"
Bold straightforward riffs (slightly toned down in comparison to Track 1) and a strangely addictive mid-tempo beat have you raising and eyebrow while tapping your foot to this joyfully abstract song. An appropriate first single for this album. It appears to be about odd cultural norms and how alien things really are despite the fact that we are numb and used to them. An audible statement against the barriers these norms can bring.
Track 03 - "First It Giveth"
Although vocally stale, you can kind of picture yourself cruising at 100mph in a powerful car to this song. The drum beat is possibly the best of the album thanks to Dave Grohl's amazing kick drumming. The riffs are chunky and powerful like before, but with more fluctuation in the pitch. A song about fate/life.
Track 04 - "Song For The Dead"
Enter Mark Lanegan. A thoroughly pounding song with a strong main riff that fluctuates in and out. The small "mini-solos" are an interesting addition. The song rounds out with a rampaging drum finale.
Track 05 - "Sky Is Fallin"
This is perhaps the best song of the album. Featuring the most powerful vocals and a fantastic bass level, this song keeps you hooked with climactic instrumentals and in depth lyrics. The song, to me, is about armageddon and a relection on wasted time in life looking back one last time before the end.
Track 06 - "Six Shooter"
A fun, raging song. Nick Oliveri in a state of madness. Not great as an overall track though. I just can't listen to it for any real purpose.
Track 07 - "Hangin Tree"
Mark Lanegan on vocals again and in his best showing of the album. The riff throughout most of the song is a dark, fluctuating, and sometimes high pitched one while the strong beat keeps you afloat. This is one of my favorite tracks of the album and it has you picturing a crimson sky reminiscent of horror movie death throughout.
Track 08 - "Go With The Flow"
The song does what the name suggests, flows. Again, powerful straightforward riffs, but with more near-high pitched wailing from Mark Lanegan's guitar than previous songs. The beat of this song is what really founds the feeling of the 'flow' and makes it feel more genuine and seperate from other tracks on the album. All else aside, on top of the flow it has an energetic 'jump up and mosh' feeling to it.
Track 09 - "Gonna Leave You"
A much more upbeat change of pace, we hear Nick Oliveri without a speed boost for the first time. The vocals are uplifting and melodic and the song's instrumentals can fool you into thinking its simply about a routine breakup. The beat is fairly standard and the riffs travel to match with the vocals but it is nonetheless a good effort.
Track 10 - "Do It Again"
Another set-in-stone beat, but the song redeems itself with its intriguing up and down tones in the verse. The vocals are decent, and the fun "house-party" type riffs keep you hooked. Grooves in the chorus.
Track 11 - "God Is In The Radio"
Much like No One Knows: A fun 'abstract' song. Starts with a snare/ride marching rhythm fused with a keyboard plink. Churns out a strong low end riff and is one of the few of the album that is not totally rhythm oriented. Provides a good, driving bass sound and a whisper of a beat that melts perfectly with the vocals.
Track 12 - "Another Love Song"
This track stands out in the album, using a steady tambourine beat and throwing in an organ. A song about a romantically cliche relationship.
Track 13 - "Song For The Deaf"
This song slowly creeps up on you before baring its teeth. A relentless bassline and more haunting vocals from Mark Lanegan and Josh Homme as a duo that rotates verse/chorus. The title track certainly lives up to the feel of the album it is named after.
Track 14 - "Mosquito Song"
Mosquito Song wraps up the album nicely. Like the denumonte to a pulse pounding heart-racing action movie, it "wipes the foam from your mouth" and brings you back to down to earth. Much like "Millionaire" puts you on an amphetamine for the journey, this track is the downer drug for you descendence to reality. This song features all guest vocals as well as a twelve string acoustic guitar, an accordion, a flamenco guitar and a horn section. The instrumental highpoint of the record that brings things to an unimaginable conclusion reminiscent of a "Lord Of The Rings" type journey.
4.5 out of 5