Sound — 9
Move over Fall Out Boy, piss off My Chemical Romance. Here's an album that will send all of these monsters that have taken over rock radio and all these panty-waist children running back to their myspace accounts. Here's an album with enough strut and swagger you would think pure sex was pouring out your speakers. Queens of the Stone Age have returned to she'd their skin of the ridiculous "Stoner Rock" label with a disc so righteous it sounds like the bastard child of early Rolling Stones & Motorhead. Although it may have a tough rock edge, Queens continue to push their audio fantasies forward by adding even more pop & pshychedelia to the frothy mix. Queens have always managed to turn pop music inside out, revealing the raw & ugly underbelly of rock, while managing to add an experimental edge to keep the audience interested. As experimental as the songs may get, there's enough punchy rhythms & rockin' riffs to remind you that you havn't left planet earth just yet. QOTSA have finally managed to create a sound as diverse as their audience, and thank god, because the bondage freaks, children of the rave, & rock fans alike have been looking for another anthem since Songs for the Deaf. After the overproduced indulgence in themselves that was Lullabies to Paralyze, it's beautiful to hear Homme get back in the garage and pound this stuff out like it's his job because it is!
Lyrics — 8
With the release of Era Vulgaris we see the Queens continue to push their sick & twisted tales of life, lust, love and hate. The lyrics fit the music like a wet t*shirt on a Hooters waitress, perfectly. Homme has an excellent method of managing to create an alternate universe through his lyrics that make sense to anyone that's ever been called a freak. It is almost like the soundtrack to Alice In Wonderland all grown up and on her way to Sin City. To their credit, the Queens have yet to make the same song twice. On Era Vulgaris one can find a unique array of vocalists as well as lyrical delivery. The song "I'm Designer" is almost completely sung ing Spanish with enough psychedelic components to make the listener wonder if they're listening Cedric and the gang from Mars Volta. If you don't believe what you are reading, listen to it for yourself. Era Vulgaris also includes vocal contributions from Mark Lanegan of the Screaming Trees (naturally), Julian Casablancas of the Strokes and even Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails singing on the self-titled bonus track "Era Vulgaris".
Overall Impression — 9
What keeps Queens of the Stone Age in a league of one is thier uncanny ability to be themselves, regardless of what may be pulsing through radio waves. In a world of bands trying to sound like the next kings of rock radio, Queens have always been in their own world. It is almost as if they're irrelevance from almost everything else is what is keeping them relevant today, ironically enough. Queens have yet again managed to put out a modern rock album that's as daring as it is ballsy, while managing never to repeat themselves. After crankin it up to 11 and carving out a clever batch of songs with Troy Van Leeuwan & Joey Castillo, QOTSA have left us with an album heavy enough for a gentleman, that's still sugary sweet & sexy enough for a luscious lady. If you're looking for a sonic orgy of sounds that can start any kind of party, whether it be chillin out and throwin' down Xbox with your friends or firing up a frenzy at a local party, just prepare for a fiesta. This album is just another ecclectic experiment in sound from Josh Homme and Company, who keep managing to make a little more sexy all the time. Thank you gentleman.