After the 2000's amazing "Rated R", QOTSA hit the studios in 2002 with a Hard rock supergroup:
Josh Homme-guitars and vocals
Nick Oliveri-bass and vocals
With this imensely talented lineup a lot was expected of SFTD, but does it live up to the hype?
You think I aint worth a dollar but i feel like a millionaire
The opening track begins with an unknown driver flicking through radio stations until he settles on KLON radio. DJ Kip Kasper introduces the saga-Songs for the Deaf.
Then in comes the drums a fast, catchy beat, joined by the bass playing the fast heavy metal like riff. Then the guitars come in and its almost impossible not to headbang. Nick Oliveri adds his screaming vocals which suit the song perfectly. The song climaxes into a creshendo of powerchords with Nick screaming "Give me some more!" The song ends with a rush of cool lead guitar licks. Damn, its just impossible not to like this song, showing QOTSA's metal side brilliantly. 5/5
No One Knows
This is the hit single from SFTD and its not hard to see why. The famous main riff is stupidly catchy and the staccato guitars and drums blend perfectly with Josh's spaced out vocals. The chorus is anthemic and the drumming here is amazing. The 2nd chorus leads straight into some fast, heavy riffing before Nick's bass solo, which is simple but cool, bridges to a typically wierd solo from Josh. The breakdown is slower in tempo and contrasts well with the loud, fast bridge sections. This song is the perfect starting point for new QOTSA fans and shows off their unique ability to write a heavy rock pop song. 5/5
First it Giveth
The drums on this song are some of the best on the whole album, unrelentless and pounding throughout. The main guitar riff is fast and driving. Josh's vocals seem distant and almost emotionless, one of his trademark styles, until the song explodes into the epic chorus with a wall of sound. The lyrics here are all about life and death ("First it giveth then it taketh away"). There is even a spanish interlude in the middle to slow things down again. Awesome song. 5/5
A song for the dead
There is a change in style here, to the darker, scarier side of QOTSA. One reason why they are so good is because they are unafraid to be wierd or even sinister. The simplistic guitar riff matches Grohls stop start drums well, before we hit another QOTSA trademark- a distored riff followed by silence and only a neat guitar fill. We are first introduced to Mark Lanegan, one of the greatest vocalists ever. He does a fine job, providing his unique deep gravely vocals to darken the mood of the song. It ends with a guitar solo from Josh that is reminicent of his previous band (the mighty Kyuss). I'll admit, this song is grower but once it hooks you, you'll love it. 5/5
The sky is fallin'
The best song on the album. No contest. Everything about it is rock perfection. It lulls you into a sense of security with the dreamy, downtempo intro, featuring good use of natural harmonics.....then BANG! The distorted guitars hit you like train and thunder into the verse with Josh's best vocals on the album. The lyrics are brilliant to. The song is all about reflecting on life just before the end. The bridge sections in this song are one of the albums highlights and the chorus has simple but catchy lyrics-"Close your eyes and see the skies are falling". There is also a beautiful harmonised clean guitar solo, which provides a fitting climax to QOTSA's best song. 5/5 (I'd go higher if I could)
Why, why, why, why did they put this on here? Were they just embaressed to put a flawless record out? This is a sub par Olivreri freak out, and is basically just him swearing a lot. Anyone who says Nick leaving QOTSA was a bad thing should listen to this pile of turd. The fact that it follows "The sky is fallin'" is insulting. At least its short....1/5
Thank god for this dark gem, after the appaling "Six Shooter". Hangin' tree has Mark back on vocals and is full of scary lyrics and twisted guitars. The chorus is lyrically pitch black. QOTSA at their scariest and showing their twisted side so well. 5/5
Go with the flow
There is only 1 reason why this is not the greatest rock song ever and that reason is "The sky is fallin'" The guitars and keyboards blend perfectly to give the song a "flowing" feel. Lyrically Josh is on top of his game here. There are backing vocals and lead guitar fills everywhere giving the song a sense of urgency. Just awesome. 5/5
Gonna leave you
Nick is back on vocals but this time he's got it right. This is an upbeat rock song about a bad relationship. The guitars are simple but catchy. O.K this song doesnt stand out on this incredible album but it still deserves a listen every time. 4/5
Do it again
Musically this is quite similar to the previous track with its simple verse,chorus,verse,chorus,bridge etc structure but its still good. The chorus is excellent as well. 4/5
God is in the radio
Goddammit how many spectacularly good songs are there here? This song has an excellent jazzy feel to it, with Mark Lanegans excellent vocals. The chorus is catchy and I love the almost jazz like breakdown and there are some great solo's here to. The riffs in the middle section are damn cool as well. Live this song is even better, often extended to almost 10 minutes. Sheer brilliance. 5/5
Another love song
There is excellent use of tremelo effects here and the song has a Spanishy feel to it. Nicks vocals are so good here I can almost forgive him for "Six Shooter". This is the catchiest song on the album. The guitar solo is excellent and I love the epic bridge section as well. Great use of bass as well. 5/5
A song for the deaf
This is a big dark song full of big guitar riffs, pounding basslines and standout drumming. Josh sings well here and there are loads of lead guitar interludes and fills as well. 5/5
Similar to "A song for the dead", this is longer, darker song that showcases the brilliance of every bandmember.
An acoustic masterpiece. Words cannot fully describe its excellence. There is good use of a 12 string guitar and Josh's lyrics are very deep and full of meaning. This is about mosquito's, yes, but the lyrics are also about the eventuallity of death and they are very powerful. However there is much more to this than the singing parts. The instrumental section is musically mindblowing, with piano, horns a superb (and really hard to play) nylon stringed guitar solo. Sometimes when rock bands mess around with acoustics the results are, frankly, terrible, but with "Mosquito song" QOTSA have raised the bar for any band trying this. As I said before, a masterpiece. 5/5
O.K, so "Mosquito song" would have been the perfect ending, but I have the special edition CD, with the extra tracks, so here is a review of them
The lost art of keeping a secret (live)
This is a queens classic, one of the ones they seem to make better live. You should already be familiar with it, if not the main riff is only powerchords, but made really catchy. The chorus is an excellent singalong moment and there is neat bridge section as well. 5/5
Everybody's gonna be happy
This is a cover of a "Kinks" song and is a bouncy pop number. It isnt fair to review this as the albums closing track so enjoy it for what it is, a good song to dance and be happy to 4/5
So, that was SFTD a musical masterpiece that takes you on a journey through modern rock, one that grips you til the end. I know I have rated it really high, with mostly 5/5's but I listened to it as a guitarist and a songwriter as well as a fan so I really apriciate (and i'm sure other musicians do as well) the awesome playing and songwriting on display. In short, if you are a rock fan, GET THIS NOW!!!
Thanks for listening. Rock on