Review Summary: With Era Vulgaris, Queens of the Stone Age once again deliver a solid slab of alternative rock. Though the band treads very little new territory, the music retains the high quality which we have come to expect from Homme and his ever changing crew.
The term Era Vulgaris is Latin for the term Common Era. The only reason I know this is because that is what the wikipedia page for the latest Queens of the Stone Age album tells me. And I'm sure the majority of those who will listen to Era Vulgaris aren't majoring in Latin either, though there's always the possibility that I am wrong and they are, in fact, studying an ancient European language in their post-secondary education. So what does Era Vulgaris sound like to uneducated barbarians like us" The vulgar era, says Queens of the Stone Age frontman and guitarist Josh Homme. Indeed, after witnessing Hollywood city slickers participating in their heavy indulgences in his daily drives through the city, Homme cannot help but believe that we're living in the supposed vulgar era. And in this frame of mind, Era Vulgaris is a very fitting title for the Queens' fifth album.
Era Vulgaris does not especially stay far from the music heard on previous Queens of the Stone Age albums. The music retains the much of the fairly strange, laidback tendencies which made past efforts so compelling to listen to. Songs like I'm Designer and Into the Hollow are prime examples of Era Vulgaris' relaxing, psychedelic sound, a sound driven by the powerful, consistent riffs churned out by the guitarists; mellow and at times soothing vocals from Homme; and aggressive, complimentary rhythm work by bassist Michael Shuman and drummer Joey Castillo. With Era Vulgaris, Queens of the Stone evocates the term "desert rock" as well as they ever have. For the most part, the music draws parallels with a dreary, desert-like atmosphere, but still manages to remain interesting and fun to listen to.
With Era Vulgaris, Queens of the Stone Age does not really radicalize their style of playing. But the album plays host to a variety of different tracks all the same. There are the relaxing songs which I mentioned earlier, such as I'm Designer and Into the Hallow. Then there are the fast paced rockers such as 3's & 7's and Sick, Sick, Sick. Unlike the two aforementioned tracks, these two are more energetic efforts. The centrepiece of both these tracks is the fairly axe work from Homme and current partner Troy Van Leeuwen, which while not all over the ballpark, is still fairly odd sounding. With that sad, Queens of the Stone Age is at their strangest (and best) on the closing track, Run Pig, Run. The psychedelic influences are at their most obvious, with sporadic guitar harmonies fading in and out at various times throughout the track; the muffled, incomprehensible vocal effort from Josh Homme; murky rhythms; bizarre passages such as the bridge leading to the ending of the song. If any track represented the heavy indulgences which Era Vulgaris…represents, it would definitely be this one. Despite being the most, well, "different" song on the album, Run Pig, Run sums up the themes and attitudes of Era Vulgaris extremely well, and is the record's strongest track.
With Era Vulgaris, Queens of the Stone Age once again deliver a solid slab of alternative rock. Though the band treads very little new territory, the music retains the high quality which we have come to expect from Homme and his ever changing crew. The latest Queens of the Stone Age album sees the band make use of an assortment of different types of tracks, from quick-paced rockers, to relaxing, mid-paced, feel good songs, to even ballad-esque, quasi-R&B styled songs. If you did not particularly like the group on their earlier exploits, than their 2007 offering will in all likelihood not impress you. But for the rest of us, well, now we have yet another enjoyable album to indulge in. Pick this up, it won't be one of the year's best, but it certainly is a solid recording.
Run Pig, Run
Turning On the Screw
River in the Road
3's & 7's
|other reviews of this album|
Iai EMERITUS (1.5)
Five albums into their career, this fan feels that QOTSA have hit a brick wall. Hard....
With an obvious shift in energy, QOTSA give us on a ride on weird side. Dark, dank, and di...
Queens Of The Stone age have brought sexy back....
Era Vulgaris is like a really good fake diamond on first glance; after a few minutes of ad...
Era Vulgaris is a gem, but with multiple listens needed to enjoy Era Vulgaris and the feel...
Don’t expect anything like Rated R ever again, if you do you’ll be disappointed. If yo...
Like always, QOTSA bring the rock even without Olivieri or Lanegan, and provides a showcas...
Sick Sick Sick rules, makes me want to look into Queens of the Stone Age more. Good review, a tad more believable.
this review is a whole heap better then the other one on here.
Good review but I'm not a big fan of Run, Pig, Run.
Electric City, it seems to me like the best place to start would be Songs for the Deaf. That album just plain rules.
Album Rating: 3.5
Agreed, go for Songs for the Deaf. That was the album that got me into Queens of the Stone Age.
Good review. This is probably the first time I see the word "psychedelic" spelled right on this site, no joke.
QOTSA kinda lost their spark when Oliveri left.
Good review! I still don't know which rating to give this album..
the truf. Oliveri gave some pretty kick ass bass lines to that band. like in the breakdown in no one knows WOOHOO.
This cd is still growing on me, it has a bit of a raw quality to it and its filled with catchy lines and some entertaining lyrics. I'd probably be able to agree with your review most.
Mike's review is the best, hands down.
Album Rating: 1.5
More people should vote for this one.
Album Rating: 3.0
After a few listens, this is probably the score I would give this album, but I will give it a
few more spins before I rate. It feels like such a downward step since Lullabies.This Message Edited On 06.13.07
Album Rating: 2.0
This is a kick-arse review mate.
Album Rating: 3.5
It feels like such a downward step since Lullabies.Hmm, I still haven't heard that one, but I'll probably give it a shot soon.
I'm guessing its not as good as Lullibies to Paralyze? A shame.
And yeah, Songs for the Deaf is epic and very well playd QotSA
Its on par with or better than lullabies imho, just not up to par with songs for the deaf
This is easily the best review of the album and yet it has about 1/1000 the amount of comments of the other two. I guess it's the price you pay for being levelheaded.
Well in the low rated one, most of the comments say "HEY THIS REVIEW SUCKS"
and in the high rate one, most of the comments say "HEY THIS REVIEW SUCKS"
so in the levelheaded review of the album, people tend to comment on the actual "music", but thats not as fun as criticizing someone.
Album Rating: 4.0
good review, sums up pretty much exactly what I think of this album too.
Queens of the Stone Age is some of the best music out there today. They are just plain rock and roll simple as that. Check out another review on Era Vulgaris Here