Queens of the Stone Age – “I Appear Missing”
Whenever someone tries to tell me that rock is dead, all I need to do is point them to …Like Clockwork, grin a big wide dumb smile, and say “well, the best rock album of all time came out in 2013.” Even if it’s a dubious statement at best, it gets a rise out of the opposing arguer every single time.
The funny thing is that it’s not even that big of a stretch. …Like Clockwork is an absolute classic, a songwriting masterclass in its own tier. The stretch from “My God Is The Sun” to the closing title track (so, more than half the album) all belong on this list. It’s downright insane that 6 of the best rock songs of my life all came in succession, on the same record.
Out of the embarrassment of riches on display with …Like Clockwork, “I Appear Missing” is the track that I’ve always viewed as the epicenter of greatness; a six minute towering rock piece that features a swelling chorus which grows in intensity with every repetition, surrounded by addictive riffs and a mind-blowing drum-fill/piano interchange a little less than halfway through. The track reaches its undeniable zenith at the 4:20 mark, and continues right on through to the end with a complicated, wiry riff that’s joined in by an echoed, ghostly refrain of I never loved anything until I loved you. It’s everything Queens of the Stone Age have ever been, and likely all they ever will be encapsulated in one particular moment of rock mastery; one that I’d argue reaches historic levels of greatness.