Rated R doesn't seem like a very appropriate title, considering the bare amount of swears and what not. Josh Homme really shows up his former band here, him and Nick Oliveri come from the ashes of the legendary band Kyuss. Having a more straight-forward and less drowsy feeling than Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age are one of the better mainstream bands out there. The music isn't essentially catchy but does show a great amount of musicianship. For instance, Josh is a great guitarist, when it ranges from his low, chunky guitar parts to his massive noise solos (that never feel out of place). Nick is an adequate bassist and isn't really an amazing bassist but when did bass players have to be amazing? He does the job and does that job fine full stop. Gene does his bit with the drums, nothing amazing but a steady beat to bring the songs along.
The mastermind behind all this is Josh Homme, in my opinion QOTSA is just Josh Homme and his friends. Josh has a very dry, low droning voice (which is good in this instance) and Nick has a more, um, crazy, loud voice? Anyway, whenever Nick does do vocals, it always fits the mood. His voice is mostly used on the frantic or angrier songs and it's something Josh couldn't pull off. Josh's tracks are more slow and creative. I prefer Josh's voice but Nick does do a good job when I hear him on several tracks. I liked that the songs would sound the same but still be totally creative and kooky. Whether it'd be the weird Feel Good Hit Of Summer
or the fast, punk Quick and to the Pointless
, there is a collection of songs that seem awkward and experiment.
The album's opener, Feel Good Hit Of Summer
is a simple song and is extremely repetitive. It isn't that good as a single song but as an opener to the album, I think that's at its best. The lyrics repeat the same line over and over again (it is just a huge list of drugs, well Josh was in one of the biggest stoner rock groups of the 90s you know). It is a guitar driven song and that's what it is basically, just a simple, repetitive song to open the album. The single The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
is also a repetitive song but repetitive doesn't equal bad. The chorus just simply consists of, "whatever you do, don't tell anyone". It's so simple and the guitar hook just drives the song perfectly. Leg Of Lamb
is a very creative and experimental song which could be fitted onto any Kyuss album. It shows a real stoner side and the guitar hook is quite weird. It is slow and it's freaky, I like it a lot. Monsters in the Parasol
continues the adventure of simple songs, the guitar part is just two notes. The drumbeat is a simple rock drumbeat. The song is very weird but I love the "she won't grow" part of the song. It is freaky and again brings a Kyuss influence to the band. Quick and to the Pointless
is a Nick track and it's punk influenced, it's very fun to listen to even if Nick does sound like he's about to explode. It's a fun song, really is. Lightning Song
could be seen as a filler but I think it's a nice instrumental track with acoustics and bongos. It's a nice melody and the piano in it suits nicely.
This album is essential to someone into Kyuss or Desert Sessions as they both contain the genius Josh Homme who is an excellent songwriter and musician. This isn't the Queens at their best but does show lots of early potential. Try Songs for the Deaf is you're looking to further your interest in the band. If you like trippy music that's got a groove, experimental parts and kick-ass songs then you should try this. Even if you aren't into a lot of rock, this could interest you. Try some of the above mentioned songs and see if you like it. It isn't a masterpiece but is a great about all the way through.