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10.09.17 BATTLE OF THE GENRES: Round 410.07.17 Neek's 2017 To-Cram List
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Neek's First Listen: QOTSA's "Villains"

You know the deal
1Queens of the Stone Age

Feet Don’t Fail Me:
This intro is fuckin’ bliss, dark and menacing, lurching forward and building to what I hope is an orgasmic release. Oh my God, that riff is so fucking tasty. Two minutes in and I already want to have his ginger babies. It sounds like a mix of “Smooth Sailing” and Them crooked Vultures with some added synths for good measure. I’d be cool with the whole album sounding like this, but it’d also be nice to see some of the emotional maturity from …Like Clockwork on this. Oh dear god these backing vocals are hilariously perfect. This bridge is so chilling, it sounds like a Peter Gabriel track somehow, like someone losing their mind while also simultaneously taking over the dance floor. This is best possible outcome from the “dance/pop” direction they were going for.
2Queens of the Stone Age

The Way You Used to Do:
Already going into the first single, seems like a bit of a repetitive choice to put out after Feet Don’t Fail Me, which is also a better track. That being said, the song sounds much more at home on the album than as a standalone track. The vocals here are a bit more vulnerable than on the last one, but the guitar riff isn’t quite as monumental. The constant switching up of tempos and instrumentation is nice, keeping it from growing stale in the wake of the previous track. It’s a great song, just a bit overshadowed. That outro was not on the single release, that’s creepy af.
3Queens of the Stone Age

Domesticated Animals:
Of course it leads directly into that weird ass riff. This seems like a really uneasy song, I’m not sure what to expect from it yet. This build is nice, I wonder where it’s going. The drumbeat and repetitive structure suggest a dancey/trancey hip-hop influence here, but if this is all that the song does from five minutes it’s gonna get tiring really fast. So far they’re doing a really good job at keeping the instrumentation shifting to the point that its interesting enough but at the 3-minute mark its still pretty repetitive (even for their standards. Aight we’re going somewhere now, this bridge is much more purposeful and surging than the rest of the song, are those… strings? It sounded like a wind-up toy about to collapse on itself before it just went back onto that repetition. Oh shit that ending was abrupt but I’m digging this string outro a lottttt. Overall it was still a great song, if still a bit of a let down after the first two.
4Queens of the Stone Age

Ugh that outro led into this song so nicely, are they all gonna do that? I’m pumped to see what they do with these strings. Oh shit that’s nice, the guitars and that synthy thing are so blissful. His voice sounds so nice here, this could be just what the album needed to not be repetitive. I’m digging the more emotional nature of the song but I’m not sure how I feel about this chorus, the twangy sound on that was a bit too much but these verses are downright gorgeous. It reminds me a bit of the slower moments on Vultures. Yeah that synth on the choruses is really cheesy fuck. Wait, this bridge is really nice too I’m so conflicted. Let’s see if they take this chorus somehwere at the end. Oh my God despite everything the vocals here are priceless and this ending riff is just downright lovely. Another conflicting but great song for me. Is my fanboy showing?
5Queens of the Stone Age

Head Like a Haunted House:
BOI this is nice af, circular and twisty riff, Homme’s practically rapping here. The bass is really really nice here too, this is energetic as hell, Jesus. It’s getting a bit repetitive already— wait was that a female vocalist wtf? I feel like everytime I get bored with something the album throws something at me to grab my attention again cuz that chorus was pretty fun. Or was that the bridge? This song is going by so fast and idk what’s going on but I love it. It’s like they took another five-minute song and condensed it into a three-minute one and it worked great. Another great outro.
6Queens of the Stone Age

Un-Reborn Again:
The fuck was that synth thing and why was that guitar crash in so perfectly effective? Even this quieter guitar riff underneath it all is super nice. Okay, the vocals coming in sounds a little riff, not sure how I feel about these verses if I’m being honest. Chorus is great though so that’s helpful, it has great growth to it and just keeps going in the best way possible. Let’s see if they can do something with this length. Goddamn this synth-guitar stuff on this album is so playful its amazing. It sounds super retro and modern at the same time.
7Queens of the Stone Age

Did they just skip a verse or did I not notice it? Was that first thing not a verse? I’m getting tried trying to figure out some of these song structures I just know I’m really digging this track. His vocals on this album are just amazing to be honest, I’m not disappointed one bit in his performance. FUCK that bridge and the strings and the vocals and the sound and the ohmygod its so nice. And that switch into the chorus was just so fuckin’ good holy shit I think I’m in love with this song. Are those horns? Of course they are, because fuck it right? This is the only one that lyrically sounds competitive with LC, too.
8Queens of the Stone Age

Aight, not sure how I’m feeling about this vocal melody but all the instrumentation in the background is really nice. Okay fuck it the vocals already grew on me. I feel like the moment I complain about anything then I change my mind about it. Fuck me in the ass the chorus is great too. Alright instrumental interlude, check. Lovely Homme vocals, check. Playful musicianship, check. In some ways this is one of the fullest sounding Queens albums I’ve heard so far, I’m actually surprised at how much it really is a continuation of LC in many ways, maybe not the ones I would’ve liked but in enough to count. This might’ve been one of the least memorable songs but it’s really really great in all honesty.
9Queens of the Stone Age

The Evil Has Landed:
Oh shit, here we go with that second single. That riff still fuckin’ gets me to this day, awesome, awesome shit. Am I the only who thinks the “Close. Come close.” bit is really fuckin’ creepy just in general? It’s so hard to pay attention to the lyrics on this album with all that’s going on it the background but that’s usually the last thing I notice anyway so maybe it’s just normal. I will say that the macho-but-not-afraid-to-feel vibe is still present from LC but not to the degree that made it my favorite album of all time, but maybe the next one will feature more of that sound? They do seem to go every-other-album with that kind of thing I suppose.
10Queens of the Stone Age

Okay, anyway, the main problem with this song I feel is that the instrumental solos throughout are so all-over-the-place that its hard to even pay attention to them when they’re going on, and every time that killer riff stomps in I’m immediately shaken back in. And that switch from lovely bridge to garage-rock outro still fucking gets me to this day, what an awesome way to end a song. I love how they throw in a really distorted version of the main riff over it in a truly unobtrusive way. Great shit here, yah.
11Queens of the Stone Age

Villains of Circumstance:
Alright I’ve been listening to this track since the first live performance of it, which absolutely blew me away, so this has very high expectations going on for me. It already sounds nothing like that solo acoustic thing but I’m really digging this spacey-ethereal sound so we’ll see. Okay, yeah fuck this is beautiful. Lyrics are just as lovely as ever, and SHIT that break into the guitar sound was beautiful holy FUCK this is really unpredictable in all the best ways. If this keeps it up it might be in my Top 10 QotSA tracks.
12Queens of the Stone Age

This is the biggest LC vibe I’ve gotten so far but it fits squarely into this album as well. This chorus guitar shit is so beautiful I have no idea how they do it but it’s just downright perfect. Very very impressed with this version, it might even be better than the 2014 acoustic live version. And they’re even nailing the outro solo thing, holy fuck. And what’s this? Another instrumental outro is cool too, yah. I hope this song never ends, shit. Well fuck, that was awesome.
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