Review Summary: Easily the bands best release, and will most likely end being their most important.
Queens of the Stone Age have always seemed to be a band that never fit in. Many mainstream rock fans do not get them, the odd song titles, the seemingly always changing band members, strange style of playing and of course, their very own name. Many indie and alternative fans pass them off as just another modern rock group, made for mass consumption, and angst ridden teenagers. Given, this is not the most intelligent band out there, Homme writes about what he knows, sex, drugs, and partying. He doesn’t hide many of his massages through thought provoking lyrics, no, Homme just tells it how it is and it always seems to work.
Queens of the Stone Age seem to be the definition of modern hard rock, feed straight and to the point. However, that being said, you could hardly put them in the same category as a Seether or Nickelback. Often described as smart radio rock, Homme and the rest of the band wear that on their sleeve as they time after time give the average radio listener a shot in the arm. Queens of the Stone Age are one of a kind in modern music, and no greater example of this is their 2000 release, Rated R. Hailed as the next Nirvana on their debut, Queens of the Stone Age and Homme for that matter came into their own with Rated R, and never looked back.
Queens of the Stone Age were:
- Josh Homme (Vocals, Guitar)
- Nick Oliveri (Bass, Vocals)
- Dave Catching (Guitar)
- Brendon McNichol (Guitar)
- Nick Lucero (Drums)
The album starts out with maybe Hommes most immature song to date. Feel Good Hit Of The Summer,with the lyrics “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol, cocaine” gives the album a sixth grade humor push from the get go. The song has a great riff, and Homme does a great backing job, but the track by nature, is vert repetitive and does not have much staying power. Other then the occasional listen, Feel Good Hit Of The Summer is a song you will not spend much of your time on, but its inclusion on the album is warranted, just because of its steady guitar riff and Hommes vocals. Another track that doesn’t exactly add anything to music, but is a good song never the less, is The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret. This is text book radio rock, the riff is simple but catchy, Homme tries his best to sing in a radio friendly tone, and the drums and bass seem to blend into the track easily. The verse is just Homme bulding up the song so he can break into a catchy chorus. The lone interesting point of the track is the solo done in the bridge. Other then its catchy verse and intense solo, the song will soon fall off for any listener.
The previous mentioned tracks were, Homme and Queens of the Stone Age at their worst, in essence. Simple modern rock made for the radio, however this album is great for many reasons, and that isn’t one. Homme and his band pushed what it is meant to be modern rock band with songs such as Leg Of Lamb, and Monsters In The Parasol. Both songs show off Hommes talent, and shed light on the direction of the band. Leg Of Lamb is a perfect example of this, starting off with a exceptional drum beat, and the guitar work is quite stunning. The song also shows off Homme at his very best, with the verse starting slow, and builds to were a lesser musician would have stuck a chorus. Homme almost teases the listener, with them then back tracking into another verse, then breaking into his outstanding chorus. It seems cut short, leaving the listener wanting more, easily one of the best tracks Homme as ever done. Monsters In The Parasol is another track that shows why Homme and Queens of the Stone Age are not just another radio friendly rock band. The repetitive riff, seems like a blessing, giving the song a needed back bone as Homme rambles off some of his best and most obscure lyrics yet. The song hooks the listen in with the verse, and keeps them hooked with the riff, drum combo. Essential Homme, and another must listen for any wanna be Queens of the Stone Age fan out there.
Rated R with these type songs alone would have been a great album, however two og QOTSA’s best song appear on the album, and turn this into a must for many music fan, casual or not. Auto Pilot and In The Fade are two classics as far as any self respecting Queens of the Stone Age fan is concerned, and at first listen, you can hear why. In The Fade is a slower paced QOTSA song, and starts off with minimal sound, but starts up with Hommes vocals and breaks into the classic with Catching’s brilliant guitar playing. Everything is done right on this track, Homme gets to sing how he wants, the progression is well done and Lucero gets to shine on his drums. Auto Pilot, on the other hand seems to be Kyuss reborn is a modern rock package. Stoner rock at its best, the song is simply about the pleasure of being on drugs, Homme’s best vocal performance on the album, and the progression and laid back feel seem to blend perfectly together. Guitars in the song make it seem epic, and drums are again well done. One of QOTSA’s best songs, if not their best, Homme takes the album to a another level on Auto Pilot.
Easily the bands best release, and will most likely end being their most important. Homme ridded himself of the cry’s for Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age became their own band, often cited as one of the better releases of 2000, Rated R gave a voice to Homme and the rest of his career was changed by it. Oliveri shows on this album why he is missed on Queens of the Stone Age’s newest work, by giving the album a much needed second voice, and direction through his great bass performance. Homme and Oliveri were at their best for this release, and it comes through on the staying power the album has shown since its release.
- Homme’s vocals are top notch.
- Guitars sound huge and bring home each song.
- Oliveri’s voice add a nice touch.
- Some songs are by the books radio rock.
- Auto Pilot.
- In The Fade.
- Leg of Lamb.