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iTunes Review

Josh Homme tries to conceal his genius behind a battery of guitars that sound like power tools and lyrics that are often shocking and disturbing. Yet, the brilliance of his invigorating Queens of the Stone Age is still hard to miss. Homme has an uncanny knack for making even the most basic songs sound lavish and decadent, wielding an endless assortment of chunky, searing guitar riffs and oddly appealing hooks, putting meat on the bare bones of his songs. Few current rock artists are as painstaking, detailed, and nuanced in trying to sound simple — or as deft in the production room, coaxing an incredible variety of sonic delights from a very straightforward recipe. Tracks like “Sick, Sick, Sick” (with the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas) and “Battery Acid” are bracing, buzzing, fuzzed-out romps intended to shred your mind, but even more interesting are “I’m Designer,” which calls to mind Zeppelin’s funkier ‘70s days, and “Into the Hollow,” which adds some rather nifty prog-rock flourishes. They ease up on the gas just a bit for the soulful “Make It Wit Chu” and groove-heavy “Suture Up Your Future,” but for the most part, Era Vulgaris doesn’t ever stop to catch its breath; it hurtles forward with focus and purpose.

Customer Reviews

Amazing, but who expected otherwise?

Turnin On The Screw - Great lyrics, very cool opening song. Very catchy riff. Sick, Sick, Sick - The first single, again the lyrics are very good, look them up on the interwebs, you'll be impressed I'm Designer - My favorite original track on the album (original because Make It Wit Chu is off of Desert Sessions), best lyrics on the album, "Never again will I repeat myself, Enough is never enough. Never again will I repeat myself." Brilliant! Into the Hollow - Good song, though it throws you for a curve after the first three. This song will get into your head though. Misfit Love - Very distorted, heavy rock. Awesome. Battery Acid - Very heavy again, another song whose riff will get into your head. Make It Wit Chu - Amazing song, if you've never heard it off of Desert Sessions or Over the Years, then prepare to be amazed. You'll want to put this on repeat for a solid hour. 3's & 7's - "Lie, lie to my face. Tell me it ain't nothing, that's what I want to hear." This was the first song off the album that I got really into. Suture Up Your Future - Great slow song. Cool groove to it. River In The Road - Probably my least favorite song, but still very good. Just less great than the others. Run, Pig, Run - Very bizarre ending song, very strange lyrics but great acid rock type music. Running Joke - Bonus track, very slow in a similar way to "Suture" in some ways This is a great album, go buy it right away! In addition to the album look for bonus tracks "Era Vulgaris" (available legally on the web), "The Fun Machine Took A Sh** and Died" and a cover of "White Wedding" which is on the album if you buy it from Best Buy.

Good Album. Mixed Feelings.

WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: -Track 2, "Sick, Sick, Sick": This was the big preview cut, and it's classic QOTSA. Gritty and aggressive. -Track 3, "I'm Designer": It's angsty and ascerbic, like old-timey QOTSA. The guitar work is excellent. This is the first track the guitar player fans will really love. -Track 8, "3's & 7's": Features what may be Josh Homme's best guitar solo. -Track 9, "Suture Up Your Future": A prime cut. Fantastic. Listen for yourself, I can't put it in words quite yet. -Track 10, "Run Pig Run": The ending is another fantastic QOTSA instrumental tangent. -Effect Processing: Use of filters and reverbs in the mix is excellent. More often than not, the texture of this album is really well constructed. -Geordie White: His bass work is excellent, right in the pocket, and most of all very toneful. A great choice. Fortunately, we won't have to see him in any creepy bondage costumes on this tour. Twiggy's a thing of the past; we owe him for that, too. -Troy Van Leeuwen: Aside from the fantastic work he does on "Run, Pig, Run," Troy is also one of my personal favorite musicians of the last 15 years. His credits include work Failure, Orgy, A Perfect Circle, and now a second album with QOTSA. (And of course his many session contributions for hard rockers throughout the 90s.) He's a monster of rock, and it's great to finally see him on the A List. Some Things I Didn't Like: -Track 1, "Turnin on the Screw": Wait, is this the new Eagles of Death Metal album? No, the cover says QOTSA. Kind of a bummer. Thought it kicks into full Queens mode by the end, at 5:20 in length it's a disappointing first track. -Track 7, "Make it Witchu": A total rip-off. We've already heard it on the live album (and the live cut is far superior to this recording) and the Desert Sessions. Why record a third version? It's an old song for a new album, and that doesn't make a lot of sense. -The drums in the mix: Unlike previous albums, the drums tracks sound a little flabby. This may not be the biggest problem for everyone, but for at times it detracts from the rhythm. -The Rhythm: Along the same vein, the drums sound like Joey played something cool, and they decided they wanted to hear it over and over. I don't blame Joey, but this record makes me miss Dave Grohl a little. -This album lacks the tenderness that, for instance, Rated R and Lullabies to Paralyze had. There's no "I Never came" or "In the Fade," two songs which in he past really demonstrated the diverse imagination of the group. SUMMARY: It's not the best album that Homme and crew have put out. Like others have stated, it lacks the overall diversity of their previous albums, particularly Rated R. But it's QOTSA getting back to their roots, which are Kyuss (minus Nick Oliveri, of course). That said, Era Vulgaris is a good album. Listen to it carefully the first few times. It's not as satisfying as, say, Songs for the Deaf when you're at work trying to get things done. But if you've got an hour to sit down and take the whole scene in, Era Vulgaris is sure to be a really rewarding experience.

Give Em A Taste Of My Misfit Love.

I look up to Josh Homme. He's insane, and seems to think of endlessly great riffs. He's also the man responsible for the drug-enduced chant, "Nicotine, valium, vicodine, marajuana, estacy and alcohol!" and he told us that the art of keeping a secret has been lost. Of course, Josh isn't just the only member of the band. Queens of the Stone Age return with their album (orginally thought to be translated to "the Vulgar Era", but actually translated to "the Common Era") "Era Vulgaris", and show that losing bassist Nick (Oliveri, currently with the band Mondo Generator) won't do much harm. "Turnin' On The Screw" is slow, and just pure stoner rock. Homme does his semi-normal semi-falsetto voice that he's famous for. The video for "Sick, Sick, Sick" made my friend sick, sick, sick. I enjoy it, it's definitally worthy of being on the Queens' roster of good videos. One of my favorite tracks, however, is "I'm Designer", mainly because of the lyrics: "My whole generation is for sale/It's a steady job/How much have ya got?" It's typical Homme. "Into The Hollow" reminds me too much of "Someone's in the Wolf" (from the previous release "Lullabies to Paralyze"), but it's still good. "Misfit Love" has an addicting riff that will bend you over and make you ask for more. One of my other favorites is "Battery Acid" because of the chant: "Robots, robots, brainwash, babies!" and "Plastic! Plastic! Battery acid!" Another stand out track, "Make It Wit Chu" is just so ridiculous it's good. It's just funny with the normal pianos and the chorus falsettos "I wanna make it/I wanna make it wit chu!" "3's & 7's" has an addicting riff, especially when the lead comes in. "Suture Up Your Future" is slow, and while kind of hard to get into, is fun. "River In The Road" and "Run, Pig, Run" are both fine enders. I was expecting a lot less on this album, but QOTSA just brought it here. I own all the albums, and basically, none of them have really exceeded my expectations. This one did. I was just expecting something common (as the title indicated), but I got so much more. Josh really can't displease, can he?


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...
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