Queens of the Stone Age
Songs for the Deaf


4.0
excellent

Review

by YoYoMancuso USER (43 Reviews)
October 7th, 2012 | 20 replies | 1,800 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "KRDL 109! We spoil music for everyone!"

9 of 11 thought this review was well written

The essential stoner metal outfit Kyuss is easily one of my favorite bands of all time. It has everything I look for in a metal band: good balance between aggressive and more melodic vocals, sickening, churning riffs, thick bass lines, and some top-notch drum work (especially for only one bass drum being used). However, internal problems broke out in the band, with guitarist Josh Homme causing the majority of the in-band conflict. The band ended up disbanding in 1995, with Homme wanting to create a new project but not knowing what to do. He had poured all his mind and soul into Kyuss and his creative force was spent. Homme was down, but not out. After a short break, Homme formed a new, more radio-friendly project called Queens Of The Stone Age, retaining all the good things about Kyuss, but toned down to fit a radio format. Songs For The Deaf is often considered the band's magnum opus, an engaging thrill-ride that never lets you go until the final strum. Although I disagree with this statement and believe Rated R is their best work, this is still a fully satisfying rock record.

First, let's talk about Songs For The Deaf's positive aspects. Namely, the guitar work. Homme's leads can range from sludgy riffage to soaring melodics and even chugging. The harmonics used on this album are especially great as well. Whether it's the relentless chugging riff of "A Song For The Dead" or the wailing melodies of "Go With The Flow", and his killer distorted chugs on album highlight "The Sky Is Fallin'" Homme's guitar parts always offer something new and exciting in a world where modern rock is a recycled-riff haven. Bassist Nick Oliveri (also the original bassist of Kyuss) offers one of the most intriguing bass performances I've heard. His parts aren't that complicated but the effects he uses on his bass are jaw-dropping. Whether it's opening bass riff of "First It Giveth" where Oliveri slides all up and down the neck giving an incredible performance, or his steady, sludgy grooving on "A Song For The Deaf" and "God Is In The Radio", he's always bringing something new to the table. Bass is not focused on a great deal on this album, but when Oliveri gets his chance to shine he takes full advantage and is always giving it his all. Oliveri also contributes vocals-everything from melodious tenor offerings ("Gonna Leave You") to higher-pitched, ear-splitting screams ("Millionaire", "Six Shooter") as well as harmonizing with Homme ("The Sky Is Fallin'") Oliveri does it all with his voice here, although it doesn't always work.

Mark Lanegan is an incredibly capable vocalist as well as know from his Screaming Trees days. His soothing baritone is used to its full extent on this record, and his harmonies with Homme are infectious as well as technically brilliant. I especially like his performances on "Hangin' Tree" and "First It Giveth". "Hangin' Tree" utilizes the lower part of Lanegan's range, creating some twisting, droning melodies that scream album highlight. "First It Giveth" features some incredible harmonizing during the chorus and Lanegan pulling some higher notes out of his pocket during the verse. Drummer Dave Grohl is also especially on point during this track with a furious drumbeat that sounds simple on paper but is f*cking difficult to play in reality. His cymbal work on here is really incredible-he plays incredibly fast sixteenths during the verses that are extremely difficult to keep consistent. And if you think the chorus is simple drumming, just remember Grohl only uses one kick drum. Yeah, you heard me correctly. His other performances are great as well; the funeral march-esque snare rolls on "God Is In The Radio" and his furious cadences on "Song For The Dead" lifted directly out of a Black Flag song are only two examples of how great of a performance this guy gives. All the examples listed above are what make Songs For The Deaf a great album to listen to. However, there are some glaring flaws I need to point out.

The first of these is that two songs are nothing but complete filler, those being the atrocious "Six Shooter" and the completely unnecessary "Another Love Song". "Six Shooter" is probably the lesser of two evils, as it barely eclipses a one-minute running time. Nick Oliveri shrieks his lungs out of his chest on this track (with plenty of voice cracks to boot) swearing like a sailor and threatening to "shoot, shoot, shoot" and "f*cking kill your best friend". The reason I don't like this song is simple; it's completely dishonest. Nick Oliveri puts on his best poker face and pretends to be mad, punctuating every line with a "F*ck" because I guess it gets his point across better. The whole song seems like such a charade that I can't help but chuckle when it plays; If the band wrote it as a joke, then they sure as hell succeeded. "Another Love Song" is simply wasted potential. Musically it's not that bad; the chords can get a bit stale after a few listens, but that's beside the point. The problem with this one is its ridiculously grating chorus. The annoying repetition of "you're just another love song" really gets on my nerves by the end of the chorus, and then a few seconds later I inevitably realize I have to sit through 2 more of them. Hello, skip button.

The second flaw is Josh Homme's penchant for extremely repetitive choruses. Apparently when this guy thinks of a good lyric, he feels the need to sing it endlessly, because that'll show his audience how amazing his writing is. Right? Wrong. Below is a list of songs on this album that simply repeat the same line (not even a phrase of lines) over and over and call it a chorus.

First It Giveth
The Sky Is Fallin'
Gonna Leave You
Do It Again
God Is In The Radio
Another Love Song

That's 6 of 14 songs, almost half. So half of these song's choruses are simply throwaways, boring sections of otherwise good songs that drag the rating of the album down (and technically there's only 13 choruses, since "Six Shooter" doesn't have one). However, other than what I just mentioned, this is a very enjoyable album from very accomplished songwriters. I recommend this album as a starting point for anyone looking to get into the band, as well as fans of Homme's other projects and just rock fans in general.


3.9/5.

Recommended Tracks (Asterisk signifies best song on album)
You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire
First It Giveth
A Song For The Dead
The Sky Is Fallin'*
Go With The Flow
God Is In The Radio
A Song For The Deaf



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user ratings (2817)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
October 6th 2012



34498 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I need a saga. What's the saga? It's Songs for the Deaf. You can't even hear it!

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dave Catching here, not saying goodnight, just saying.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2012



4337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

I love the random Spanish guy at the end of "No One Knows"- it's pretty funny.

This album rules. "A Song For The Deaf" is definitely the best track on the song in my opinion, it's so dark and sinister plus it rocks the fuck out. There's a lot of great basslines by Nick Oliveri that I really love as well like in "Hangin' Tree" and "First It Giveth". This album just rules overall.

Good review, man. POS'd,

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks Paper, i really love the chorus on "A Song For The Deaf" but the middle section with those droning vocals kinda kills it for me.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 6th 2012



18609 Comments


Great review man pos. Still Have to check them out prolly later tonight

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man, and yeah definitely check them out

RunOfTheMill
October 6th 2012



1239 Comments


Nice review, man. I love Homme's work with Kyuss and The Desert Sessions, so I'll check this out. I'm not too keen on short radio-friendly songs, but it depends what mood I'm in.

I've noticed that Kyuss alsoused a lot of repetitive choruses/verses, especially on Blues, though Garcia has such great execution that it comes off pretty good. Can that be compared to this at all?

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not really, Garcia's a much more capable vocalist and put a lot more effort into his performances

PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album, always a good time when I come back to it. I didn't even mind Era Vulgaris tbh, has some great songs too but this is their best for sure.

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)

breakingthefragile
October 7th 2012



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album kicks so much ass, as does this review. Pos!

YoYoMancuso
October 7th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you so much Alex

StarlessAnd
October 7th 2012



443 Comments


shit

Ecnalzen
October 7th 2012



5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album. I agree with Paper on A Song for the Deaf, it's a killer track. Also really like Do it Again and God is in the Radio. Such a fun/weird album.

Great review, btw. Have a pos.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2012



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an amazing album, I love it. The Sky Is Fallin' is the best here, I agree with you, however, I find Another Love Song is cool (it's funny to see Nick on his soft side). Great write-up, pos. I don't know which one is their best...Songs For The Deaf or Lullabies, they're really different. Hmm, I should bump my rating on both to 4.5, I haven't listened to them for a long time now.

Digging: Amplifier - Echo Street

Sciroccu
October 7th 2012



730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review.

Digging: Black Label Society - Catacombs of the Black Vatican

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, pos'd

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

ThroneOfAgony
October 7th 2012



3485 Comments


Nice review

One of my favorite rock bands

ThroneOfAgony
October 7th 2012



3485 Comments


'No One Knows,' 'First it Giveth', 'Sky is Fallin,' and ' Go with the Flow' are my favorites

YoYoMancuso
October 7th 2012



10116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks Throne, love your avatar

undertakerpt
October 7th 2012



1137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Love the review! And I never noticed the repeated chorus thing lol, guess that's my fault for listening to the music too much again! Anyway, have a POS on me man.



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