Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex K. USER (5 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 12 replies


Release Date: 06/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I blow my load over the status quo."

Queens of the Stone Age hold a dear and special place in my heart. I want to throw that out there as a disclaimer from the get go; I love the *** out of this band. There’s no record coming out this year that I’ve been more excited for than . . . Like Clockwork. Let there be no veils of psuedo-objectivity or feigned “I’m too cool to like something” attitude. I am here and ready to fall in love with this album. I am waiting, arms ***ing held out in a Christ pose screaming, “Please, Mr. Homme! Just let me love you; and all your friends too!” These are the kind of expectations that lead to disappointment. In a way, I was ready to be tragically let down by this record just as much as I was ready to let it have it’s way with me. Such is the way of love, I suppose.

The album delivers. There, I cut to the chase. This record is good. It’s really good. It sounds like Queens of the Stone Age, and yet it’s not directly comparable to any of their previous work. Like all of their previous records, it has its own sound; its own strangely colored torch, flaring wildly and casting contorted shadows that spell out a message: “We’re back, mother***ers!”

“Keep Your Eyes Peeled” creeps the album into gear with a sleazy and paranoid dissonance. The guitars are sludgy and heavy, but not particularly crunchy, and the bass backs it up. When Homme’s vocal hook appears, it is haunted melodically by a ghostly piano. The chorus lashes out with sharp guitar jabs, but doesn’t overtake the song. A beautifully disturbed bridge comes and goes, leading through another chorus and finally into a spinning climax. The piano ghost reappears and another verse closes the song. Genius.

“I Sat By The Ocean” is like a comfortable pat on the back. Think “No One Knows” without the edge. The style is instantly recognizable, but the flavor is new; tweaked ever so slightly. Queens have always had a knack for “life’s a bitch, but I keep on truckin’” types of songs. The content of “I Sat” is far from hopeful, but the song is happenin’. It’s dark and pessimistic thematically, but upbeat at the same time. The hooks are huge and the groove is ***in’ groovey. “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” lumbers through its first verse with jarringly overwrought lyrics and a stripped back piano only sound, but all becomes clear and forgiven as the song builds and creeps (QotSA like to creep) to its finish. “Vampyre” features a pair of lonely and defeated guitar solos, and with repeat listens, the stripped down composition and [initially] boneheaded lyrics started to, surprisingly, make sense. The progression of the song is a little on the cookie-cutter end of things, but either way it’s exciting to hear Queens dabble with this style. It’s something new for them, and that alone gives it merit. Right? Right.

“If I Had a Tail” reigns it back into the comfort zone with its familiar mix of darkness and pop hooks. Homme’s words are awkward, but clever. Mark Lanegan’s raspy backing vocals make their first appearance since 2005, and really tie the song together. It’s pure Queens of the Stone Age. “My God is the Sun” hits hard; harder than anything Homme has done in ten years. It’s a strange (almost bad?) trip in the scorching sunlight. The chorus is massive, and the song has the pedal pressed so firmly to the floor that without paying proper attention it’s easy to miss just how varied the structure of the song actually is. Smalls breaks and bridges are littered throughout, breaking the cookie cutter mold that songs with this kind of huge hook usually fall into.

“Kalopsia” opens delicately. After the sun-scorched “My God is the Sun,” it feels like a breath of fresh misty air. There’s a faint beat drenched in reverb keeping time behind peaceful guitar picking and keys. Homme’s voice is at ease. If the song’s initial atmosphere were a fishbowl, the chorus would be an inexplicable and sudden crack in the glass. Once that crack appears, the song never truly settles back into rest. It tries, but there’s something else there, lingering in the air. By the time the track closes, any sense of security has vanished. The final chorus trails off with screams before settling into madness.

“Fairweather Friends” is absolutely anthemic. It starts modestly and climbs, then just keeps climbing. There’s a moment of peace later in the song that exists solely to be destroyed. QotSA have never sounded quite like this. “Smooth Sailing” is fun as hell, with sleaze that’s cranked well past the breaking point. Homme’s falsetto is on full display, and there’s a genius one-liner or two to be found. It may, however be a little too reminiscent of “Gunman” from Them Crooked Vultures debut, and “Broken Box” from Lullabies to Paralyze.

“I Appear Missing” finds the band back in the dark. The songs starts dazed, confused, and disturbed, like the band is looking for something they don’t want to find. Suddenly, the chorus crashes in like a tidal wave of catharsis. Like “My God is The Sun” and “Kalopsia,” “I Appear Missing” has an almost uncharacteristically giant chorus. The song twists and turns for a while, finding its way back into a verse, then teases at another chorus with a bridge before letting the chorus hook take over again. The second half of the song recycles and rearranges all of the musical motifs of the first, twisting the dynamics around before a shrieking wah-wah guitar solo spins the song out of control and into the ranks of “No One Knows” and “Better Living Through Chemistry” as one of Homme’s most impressive musical works. A breathtaking song.

In the wake of “I Appear Missing,” the album closer “Like Clockwork” crawls out. Battered and broken, the song methodically unfolds. Homme once again finds himself in a vulnerable space, without even a glimmer of confidence or swagger. “One thing that is clear: it’s all downhill from here,” he sings softly, and then the song kicks in with a simple beat and guitar solo. The song winds up, intensity and grandiosity mounting on top of each other, and then settles back into a verse, with a newfound bassline. Like “Kalopsia,” baggage is picked up and carried throughout the song. The same vocal melody is present, but backed up by so much more instrumentation. “One thing that is clear: it’s all downhill from here,” the songs descends and the album ends.

. . . Like Clockwork is a worthy addition to the QotSA discography by all accounts, as far as I’m concerned. It stands tall next to their best work, and even pushes the Queens envelope in more than a few ways. If Era Vulgaris left any doubt in your mind that Queens of the Stone Age are one of the best rock and roll bands of the last 20 years, . . . Like Clockwork might put them back in your good graces.



Personally, I liked Era Vulgaris, so *** off. Long live the Queens of the Stone Age.


user ratings (1575)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • bmon13 (5)
    One of the most important albums of my life (thus far)...

    Nick Morley (5)
    TL;DR: It's an incredible album that just got better with time and context....

    brandaao (4)
    ...Like Clockwork shows a band not afraid to take their characteristic sound and push it i...

    AaronBatt (4)
    The best rock album of 2013?...

  • Minus. (4)
    And like clockwork, QOTSA makes another solid album albeit slightly overrated....

    Jamie Coughlan (3)
    Middle of the road return from QOTSA, that they've been sliding toward for 8 years....

    Paul4 (5)
    The seductive power and engaging Like clockwork .....

    kvltwalter (3.5)
    Josh Homme looks to the past and mixes in a little bit of the darkness into their light, c...

  • BrianE (3.5)
    Queens of the Stone Age look to prove they're more than just a mere rock band....

    Hernan M. Campbell STAFF (3.9)
    Josh Homme & Co. return with a stellar album that blends their many influences and idiosyn...

    Mike C (4)
    "if reason is priceless then there's no reason to pay for it."...

    Peter K. Mark (4)
    Not your average everyday stoner....

  • Greg Fisher STAFF (4.5)
    QOTSA return with a bang, delivering a solidly constructed record that's imbued with seduc...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tempest--
May 26th 2013


13929 Comments


This isn't out yet, and as far as I know, there's no official stream, so you might have to remove this review.
The first two paragraphs are alright, although there is some grammatical work needed (you repeatedly use "it's" when you mean "its", "it's" is only ever used as a contraction for "it is").
Quite a lengthy review, try to cut the fat a bit, and avoid track by tracks.
Take the time off (presuming this will be removed) to look over these points and I'll look forward to your return!

YouGotLucky
May 26th 2013


946 Comments


SHOCK ME AWAKE

Firestarter
May 26th 2013


277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably the best track by track I've read on this site. Well done. Loving this album

Artuma
May 26th 2013


14463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the review is good for a track by track but try to avoid them in the future and yeah, this review isn't probably staying here for too long. album is great, Smooth Sailing is da jam

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

MaxKaska
May 26th 2013


32 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

At the wiltern show people were given download cards for the flac version of the album when they bought merch, and all of the album's songs were played that night too (except for fairweather friends) so I'd say this review is a go.

EvoHavok
May 26th 2013


1447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh wow, I would've loved to be there.

Digging: At the Gates - At War with Reality

Green Baron
May 26th 2013


20006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, should have went.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Windows98IsAmazing
May 26th 2013


49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is pretty well done

Alex445
May 26th 2013


149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fixed the embarrassing "it's" errors. Sad to see my approval drop to 84%, damn.

I thought I'd probably be the only one doing a track by track for this guy, seeing as they have
done out of style with a vengeance, with good reason. However, with an album this big it's not like
people aren't going to listen to it. I'm not convincing anyone, but maybe I articulated one or two
sounds that someone may not have noticed, and maybe this review made it obvious to them. Sometimes
just recognizing something for what it is leads to appreciation. If that makes sense.

That was sort of the point. I'm also not a big fan of track by track (you can look at my other
reviews for proof), but I dunno, it's not like anyone else was going to do it. The review was kinda
directed at people who love the record and just want more reasons to love it.

Thanks for reading, folks. Smooth sailin'.



Alex445
May 26th 2013


149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

side note: I would put a track by track review in contrast with the "build upon the myth" style of review that seem really popular these days. This album hasn't been out long enough to be romanticised in the way that a really good review does.

unless I were being kinda phony. Don't wanna do that though.

Skyhunter
May 27th 2013


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is solid. If I had a Tail has a nice TCV vibe to it.

Ennrique
June 12th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The seductive power and engaging this album

In a unique way, Josh Homme brought together big names in music on a disk while it is totally the face of Queens of the Stone Age, even though the band itself is performing with a more mature and overweight in their songs . Weight not by a battery or urgent guitars frantic, but for a loaded sound, dense, engaging and impregnated all the bases of rock, especially the ability to mesmerize the listener track by track.

Opening with Keep Your Eyes Peeled, Homme now turns his thoughts in verses like "If life is but a dream, then wake me up." The guitars weigh during the whole song almost dragged under the line marked below, and in the end fall silent while a subtle cello closes the song. And it is with this class that ... Like Clockwork continues until the end, with each song leaving the impression that it is better than the last. Maybe that's why even the latest music and that gives title track sounds like "less harmful". And note that this does not mean that it is bad, just that it does not stand out as much as I Appear Missing, easily one of the best songs of the year and with a more whimsical letters already made ​​by Homme: "I go missing / No longer exist / One day I hope / I'm someone you'd miss. "Oh yeah, and also more personal - "Shock me awake, tear me apart / Pinned like a note in a hospital gown / I sleep Deeper, Further Down / The rabbit hole never to be found."

Smooth Sailing is one of those bands that has no sex appeal in his letter, but just let it roll, with its distorted guitars, the falsetto Homme, its apex in the cry of the singer and later resumed the seductive rhythm of the song to completion, to realize that she is engaging too, a level that reminds why the Rock 'n' Roll has its maximum between sex. Despite the harsh verses ("I feel in love"), The Vampyre of Time and Memory is also sensual, very slow pace in the battery and the guitars and synthesizers that pack this great track.

Like Clockwork nos apresenta é uma sequência de faixas extremamente coesa, daquelas que a gente só encontra em grandes discos, com produções pensadas a dedo e com um toque detalhista que poucos músicos/produtores conseguem dar. Coesão que vem densa, reclamona, um tanto sofrida, pensativa, mais direta, menos irônica e extremamente confessional.





You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy