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…Like Clockwork

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Album Review

All the surface evidence on ...Like Clockwork suggests Josh Homme is steering Queens of the Stone Age back to familiar territory. Once again, he's enlisted drummer Dave Grohl as his anchor and he's made amends with his erstwhile bassist Nick Oliveri, suggesting Homme is returning to either Rated R or Songs for the Deaf, the two turn-of-the-millennium masterpieces that thrust QOTSA out of their stoner rock cult, but ...Like Clockwork isn't so simple as a return to roots. Homme flirts with his history as a way to make sense of his present, reconnecting with his strengths as a way to reorient himself, consolidating his indulgences and fancies into a record that obliterates middle-age malaise without taking a moment to pander to the past. Like always, Homme opens himself up to collaborations, wrangling an impressive roster that includes his wife Brody Dalle, his longtime companion Mark Lanegan, his protégé Arctic Monkey Alex Turner, his kindred spirit Trent Reznor, Scissor Sister Jake Shears, and superstar Elton John, but despite this large cast, the only musician who makes an indelible presence is Homme himself. ...Like Clockwork is unusually focused for a Queens of the Stone Age record, containing all of the group's hallmarks — namely volume and crunch, but also a tantalizing sense of danger, finding seduction within the darkness — but there is little of the desert sprawl and willful excess that have always distinguished their records. This is forceful, purposeful, fueled by dense interwoven riffs and colored with hints of piano and analog synthesizers that quite consciously evoke '70s future dystopia. QOTSA always specialized in this eerie sexiness, but the precision on ...Like Clockwork — quite different than the merciless propulsion of Era Vulgaris, the 2007 album that closed out their time at Interscope — feels conceptually tight, Homme smartly sculpting guitar fuzz, elastic solos, haunted harmonies, and deceptively slinky rhythms into a cool, relentless collection of heavy rock. The force impresses but also the restraint: there are missed beats and open space, muscular music that seduces and pummels, even manages to soothe while it assaults. It's complex, harder, and catchier than anything QOTSA have done in a decade, and more song-oriented, too, but that's a sign of maturity: Homme has marshaled all of his strengths on ...Like Clockwork and has found a way forward, a way to deepen his music without compromising his identity.

Customer Reviews

awesome

lets just say I was there during the recording of this album. If you're a fan of QOTSA then you're in for a treat, this album is rather mysterious sounding and far weirder than previous albums, yet it still maintains those old hooks and driving rythms you'd expect to hear from Homme and the crew. With a diverse array of old guests and new expect to hear the unexpected. Your ears are in for a treat so why not preorder? Definatly going to be one of the best albums of 2013...

Only 5 years .... worth it

Good things come to those who wait.

Sounds different but then every album does cant wait

Too produced… seriously

I've got the advance album… it's just too produced! Where's the raw, thundering, driving power of their earlier material? It's all good; make no mistake. I was there from Sons of Kyuss, through Kyuss and beyond. I've seen and bought all the spin-offs. But… I think the record company has insisted too much.

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Palm Desert, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed from the ashes of stoner rock icons Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age reunited the group's singer/guitarist Josh Homme, drummer Alfredo Hernandez, and bassist Nick Oliveri along with new guitarist/keyboardist Dave Catching. The project's origins date back to Homme, who in the wake of Kyuss' 1995 demise relocated to Seattle to tour with the Screaming Trees; he soon began working with a revolving lineup of musicians including the Trees' Van Conner, Soundgarden's Matt Cameron, and Dinosaur Jr.'s...
Full bio