By Dane Anderson
Released June 3rd, 2013 - Matador
It's been six years since the last Queens of the Stone Age album 'Era Vulgaris', but you'd be forgiven for not realising after the reissues of 'Rated R' and their self-titled debut album, several tours, and not to mention Them Crooked Vultures - the super group that Josh Hommeformed with John Paul Jones, and Dave Grohl. An apparent near-death experience for Homme, along with some turbulent times with making the record and we end up with '...Like Clockwork' the sixth and new album from Queens of the Stone Age.
Like on Songs for the Deaf, Dave Grohl once again contributes drums for a majority of the tracks (other tracks were drummed by now former drummer Joey Castillo, which may be the turbulent times talked about.)
Homme has been quoted as saying Grohl can make something good, great, and after listening you would tend to agree with songs like the rocking 'My God Is The Sun', which is one of the best, and 'I Appear Missing'which creeps along in a stoner rock fashion.
Grohl isn't the only "special" guest enlisted though as former members Nick Oliveri and Mark Laneganappear on 'If I Had A Tail' along with Arctic Monkeys vocalist Alex Turner. Trent Reznor appears on 'Kalopsia'a tune that is almost lounge-like with its verses whilst the heavy chorus takes it somewhere else. Sir Elton John shows up on 'Fairweather Friends', a song that combines the music heavyweights of Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and Sir Elton John to make something with sheer brilliance.
While many of the songs on '...Like Clockwork' grow and develop the more you listen, 'I Sat By The Ocean' is instantly catchy with a typically Queens of the Stone Age rolling groove as Homme sings "Imagined I'd be your one and only/Instead I'm the lonely one/You, Me, and a Lie". 'Smooth Sailing' is a sleazy almost dirty rocker that will have you moving your hips, while '...Like Clockwork' sounds like nothing Queens of the Stone Age have done before with its slow piano, combined with a lone Homme falsetto. It shy's away from the stoner rock associated with the band, and shows certain maturity from Homme and his songwriting skills.
Essentially though after all the aforementioned guests, it's the talented work of front man Josh Homme that sets this album apart. He's created an album that is equally simplistic as it is complicated, but then that may just some up Queens of the Stone Age.
'....Like Clockwork' is Queens of the Stone Age at their creative best and one that's been a long while overdue after a few lackluster albums since 'Songs for the Deaf', saying that it may also be one of the years best.
5 / 5