Era Vulgaris review by Queens of the Stone Age

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  • Released: Jun 12, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (196 votes)
Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris
14

Sound — 9
You can only guess where a talented person can get his inspiration from! Working on the fifth album of Queens Of The Stone Age, frontman Josh Homme was inspired by his daily drive through Hollywood. As a result of his observations of life, the record got the name of Era Vulgaris that refers to the Latin term for Common Era.

One thing is clear from the very beginning -- this time the things are darker and louder as the band goes for a dirty sound, avoiding any polishing. Of course when it comes to powerful guitar riffs, Josh Homme and Co exceed your expectations. The CD is full of sensational riffs, most of which repeat endlessly through the song. Like in the opener Turning On The Screw that give you a very good idea of what the album is about.

Though the band is doing pretty good by itself, there's still a place for guest appearences -- Sick, Sick, Sick features Julian Casablancas from The Strokes on synth guitar and vocals. Among aggressive tracks of the album, there's chilling and seductive Make It Wit Chu. It's a groovy cut with a shrilling bluesy guitar solo that varies the sound of the CD. Even though the song has previously appeared on live albums, here it sounds unexpected and really different.

There was an evident change in the sound of QOTSA that started with their previous album Lullabies To Paralyze. The new record is again different from everything you've heard before. The only reminiscent track is Into The Hollow. Talking about the sound of the record, Homme describes it as a construction worker. Which is quite true -- the guys couldn't avoid so popular now noise and electronic components of sound, adding more garage feel to the music. At times it even seems like QOTSA are doing everything to make you shiver -- even adding a metal rasp to Battery Acid.

Lyrics — 9
As usually QOTSA could be anything but ordinary in poetry. Homme declares I'm one of a kind/ I'm a designer and comes up with such lines as My generation's for sale/ Beats a steady job in I'm A Designer -- a song that describes all his disgust to the current state of things in the society.

When it comes to the vocals, Homme is professional as ever. His singing is not just the vocal part living by itself. It sounds organic with the music, always fitting the mood of the song and completing it. Depending on what he's singing about, Homme is mellow, ironic, gritty, skeptical or angry.

Overall Impression — 9
Queens Of The Stone Age are avoiding any stamps on principle. As Homme claims himself, he likes combinations that no one would expect. And here's a good example -- while all common bands put the title track in the first part of the album and release it as a single, QOTSA first record it with a guest vocalist Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and then make it a bonus track, free for download on the internet!

It would be weird to talk about the maturing of the band or improved songwriting after Lullabies To Paralyze. I think QOTSA has already taken it's place among the greatest rock bands, now the only question is how long they'll keep up the interest to the band. So far they are doing a great job!

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    justy
    how can you comment when you only heard part of one song? i feel sorry for you that you think you can judge music like that. you are proberly missing out on so much great music....
    recliner33
    bortbort wrote: LMAO My friend I like it a lot harder then QOTSA, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Bullet for my Valentine, Shadows Fall, ect. I also like metal stuff like Breaking Ben, Skillet, even like alot of grunge. Soft Rock lol I grew up with Metallica, Megadeth, Overkill, Death, Sepultura, Slayer, Exodus, Madien, Helloween, Candle Mass, ect. I just cant stand their sound. I haven't like one of their albums so its safe to say I wont like this one either. you know them really annoying commercials you have to turn off when they come on? QOTSA does that to me.
    I like a few of the bands you mentioned but I think alot of the bands you mentioned have a worse sound then qotsa like slipknot for example. But I'm not going to go on a slipknot sucks rant because it's not really relavent to this at all. But qotsa has a sound that the ladies will enjoy for their sexy beats and that the dudes like will enjoy for their dirty garage sound. If you go to a concert of the metal bands you mentioned except for maybe metallica or maiden, you will find out that they are mostly sasauge fests. So I found it funny how you call them the queers of the fag age because that band has probably banged more hot chicks then everyone here combined that posted a comment on this review.
    Cliffbanger
    its really a new,different style of songs - as usual for josh. but they all give you this kind of feeling,and for me qotsa is the only band that can make my day a better one...I dont know why,but I still get goose bumps while hearing the end of "misfit love"! This thing is so sad and lovely at the same time! Great one,mr. homme!
    recliner33
    bortbort wrote: Another crappy album... grant I only heard a part of the single and turned it off immediately. Dont these guys have enough money to hire someone to set up their amps their tone is pure crap, what are they playing through?? A match box amo? These guys suck bad. They annoy me more then the 1-800-safe-auto Commercials... Actually to think of it.. The safe auto song is WAAYYY better then anything qotfa ever wrote. qotfa ='s Queers of the Fag age.... thats what call them around here.
    Ok, I'm guessing that you would hate the whole album if you heard it, but why are you saying the album sucks if you didn't even heard a full song on it? That is called being a hypocrite and I'm guessing the song you did hear a part of was sick, sick, sick and I think that is one of the worse tracks on the cd. There are alot of better songs then that on the cd. And if you don't like their sound then I'm guessing you're not into garage or stoner rock type stuff. So if you want something a little less raw for your ears then listen to something more polished like fall out boy or the backstreet boys. And Josh Hommes and big qotsa fans probably laugh when macho cock rock enthusiests like yourself call them names like queers of the fag age. It doesn't offend them because they aren't a bunch of homophobes who give a shit about what you say. It reminds me of when people call the eagles of death metal the pigeons of shit metal, I laugh everytime I hear someone call them that.
    recliner33
    Yeah man, you're civilized too, lol. Most of the time when i disagree with someone the go off and start calling me names and shit and then the discussion just gets all retarded. Then I start saying stuff back and then my account gets banned. But I respect your opinions and stuff, I have alot of friends who hate qotsa and I like some of the stuff you listen to more then the stuff most my friends like. But yeah, have you heard of the 90's stoner rock band called kyuss? Josh Hommes, the frontman of qotsa was their guitar player and a few other former members of qotsa played in kyuss as well. You probably won't like them, but you'll like them more then qotsa, they have a heavier sound and it's less mainstream and radio friendly. Kyuss is my favourite band and I like them so much that i would be happy if qotsa broke up and they reformed kyuss again. Anyways, have a good one.
    Son_of_Kyuss
    Very civil gentleman, well played on both parts. Recommending Kyuss is a great call for ears more accustomed to harder sounds bortbort. Just get your hands on "Blues For the Red Sun" or "Welcome To Sky Valley" and just prepare to enjoy thyself.
    recliner33
    Son_of_Kyuss wrote: Very civil gentleman, well played on both parts. Recommending Kyuss is a great call for ears more accustomed to harder sounds bortbort. Just get your hands on "Blues For the Red Sun" or "Welcome To Sky Valley" and just prepare to enjoy thyself.
    Yeah I agree, I got all the kyuss cd's and blue for red sun is my favourite cd of all time. It is like the tempelate to stoner rock.
    kurbo
    bortbort wrote: Dont these guys have enough money to hire someone to set up their amps their tone is pure crap, what are they playing through?? A match box amo?
    ignoring the eight spelling mistakes you made throughout your orignal post, ****wit, homme plays everything, from and including Kyuss era, through either bass amps or similar gear, to get the CRUNCHY TONE THAT IS REPREENTATIVE OF HIS UNIQUE STYLE!!!!! Close minded prick, go start a band and I'll tell you why your tone sucks..... By the way, big QOTSA, KYUSS,Desert Sessions, EODM fan, I'm only 15 and only got into the queens about a year ago, already I have bought (legally and properly) every QOTSA and Kyuss album, as well as one EODM and three Desert Sessions Albums. It's good to see he's pulled out another scorcher with Era Vulgaris.
    recliner33
    kurbo wrote: bortbort wrote: Dont these guys have enough money to hire someone to set up their amps their tone is pure crap, what are they playing through?? A match box amo? ignoring the eight spelling mistakes you made throughout your orignal post, ****wit, homme plays everything, from and including Kyuss era, through either bass amps or similar gear, to get the CRUNCHY TONE THAT IS REPREENTATIVE OF HIS UNIQUE STYLE!!!!! Close minded prick, go start a band and I'll tell you why your tone sucks..... By the way, big QOTSA, KYUSS,Desert Sessions, EODM fan, I'm only 15 and only got into the queens about a year ago, already I have bought (legally and properly) every QOTSA and Kyuss album, as well as one EODM and three Desert Sessions Albums. It's good to see he's pulled out another scorcher with Era Vulgaris.
    Yeah I like the sounds Josh makes out of bass ampr with his guitar. But, I think his best guitar work is still with kyuss but qotsa is good too.
    grungeisdead312
    i just borrowed this cd from a friend.. i have to say..compared to songs for the deaf and lullabies... this is a disgrace
    Pittman
    I think this cd is amazing,but I cant compare it because this is the first full QOTSA album I have heard...but im going to listen to more.
    theCorrector
    BTW: the song "i'm desinger" is not about josh homme's disgust for society. it's just an observation. homme said it himself. i wish people would review things without adding their interpretations of the lyrics and what not. just give your opinion of the music, i.e. style and lyrics...and then fill in the other categories...
    hairypineapple
    I got it and was extremely disappointed... But then again, NEVER, have i instantly liked an album, maybe it'll grow on me
    bortbort
    LMAO My friend I like it a lot harder then QOTSA, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Bullet for my Valentine, Shadows Fall, ect. I also like metal stuff like Breaking Ben, Skillet, even like alot of grunge. Soft Rock lol I grew up with Metallica, Megadeth, Overkill, Death, Sepultura, Slayer, Exodus, Madien, Helloween, Candle Mass, ect. I just cant stand their sound. I haven't like one of their albums so its safe to say I wont like this one either. you know them really annoying commercials you have to turn off when they come on? QOTSA does that to me.
    bortbort
    Well I dont think there actually Homo's lol I been to many concerts.. Far from sausage fests The latest show I was at was Breaking Ben on June 2cnd. @ the Toyota pavilion in Scranton Pa. Theres plenty of hot metal chicks out there! Plenty!!! Besides I'm married so what do I care lol. Grant these guys have a record contract and they sell albums so they must be liked my masses, there just not my cup of tea
    I like a few of the bands you mentioned but I think alot of the bands you mentioned have a worse sound then qotsa
    Perhaps there lies the problem, I perfer a Heavy Punchy guitar sound where QOTSA Have that vintage, tinny sound
    I found it funny how you call them the queers of the fag age because that band has probably banged more hot chicks then everyone here combined that posted a comment on this review.
    Probably, good for them.. I guess? Wonder how many visits to the "doctor" they needed as well? :-P I have to say at least your civilized. most people on here would of just went off with cusses and such
    schwedengitarre
    The album is great! Even though it has no "Burn the Witch" or "Feel Good Song of the Summer" I really like it!
    Travis^Co
    I think Queens are in their come down period...Their self titled album started off at the bottom. Rated R was climbing high, Songs for the Deaf peaked, Lullabies was starting to come down and Era Vulgaris is slightly better than the self titled album but not on par with any other cd they have made. I love QOTSA to death but I think they are past their peek. It doesn't mean they shouldn't stop making albums because they're still better than most bands out there at the moment but I don't think we'll see an album as good as Songs for the Deaf again.
    soapalot
    I love the album, it's only going to get better too. 3's & 7's is a killer track. My copy has Running Joke and Era Vulgaris on it too which is definitely a good thing
    Paul Lambeth
    Hmm.. I've only heard "Sick Sick Sick" on MTV and Kerrang, and I can't say it's that good, weird though. I watch it more for the strange feeling of watching an attractive woman eat meat like a pig... If they release another I might consider getting it though. From the reviews it seems that's not their best song on the album... But who the hell can't write their own review o.O
    Johnny_talent
    im pretty in to sick sick sick but it doesnt make me cream all over my mum like qotsa used to
    Razeon
    Johnny_Talent: LMFAO. I love the album. It's pretty kick ass. I think my favourite track is "Run, Pig, Run." It's so cool!
    Kyuss_
    im a huge qotsa fan, intially i wasnt impressed but after a few listens to the album i could see how much better than lullabies it is. a lot fo good catchy tracks filled with plenty of qotsa riffs. not as good as songs for the deaf but a smashing album imo!
    The Warpig
    qotsa records usually need a few listens to get your ear around it. This one is the same. In another month the reviews for this record will all be good.
    RHCP94
    I have only heard I'm Designer, Sick Sick Sick, and Make It Wit Chu (which are all very good) and this seems like a very promising record. I'm definitly gonna pick it up next week along with Icky Thump.
    recliner33
    Yeah, if this cd doesn't become the rock album of the year then I don't know what to do. This album has everything, a few tracks that sound like they could be off songs for the deaf and a few that could be off lullabies to paralyze. Also, alot of the jams in the songs sound like something that DFA 1979 would do, so I see why Josh wanted the DFA 1979 bassist to play for him. This is raw electric boogy rock that knocks your socks off, this is the way rock should be. It's like sonic fellatio, it does it to you right in your earhole(Thanks for that quote boots electric and buddyhead)!!! Every track is like fresh mint, and if you don't like them at first then they will eventually grow on you. I don't like QOTSA as much as kyuss but you gotta respect Josh for always bringing a new sound to his albums and it's nice to see that so many people appreciate it. For the most part, I have heard great reviews and comments about this album. If you don't have it yet then get it fast before they run out of copies, it's that darn hot. I give this cd 9 stars out of 10.
    RickGardiner
    So awesome. I've heard it all, yet to pick it up yet. My favourite is definitely Turnin' on the Screw. Great reviews too.
    koolfoolinapool
    johnnypark30 wrote: shamrockrovers stole his review directly from rolling stone magazine, it's on rolling stone's website if you wanna check for yourself shame on you shamrockrovers!
    what a moron. XD
    God's Guitarist
    i read a review in my local paper giving it two stars so this discussion is definately encouraging! lullabies was a grower, hope this one has the same staying power. i dont know what id do if it was terrible, i dont reckon any band captures the same sound/feel/vibe as they do these days.
    159876432
    The song "I'm Designer" is almost completely sung ing Spanish
    wrong, its all english, and all hilarious
    bortbort
    Another crappy album... grant I only heard a part of the single and turned it off immediately. Dont these guys have enough money to hire someone to set up their amps their tone is pure crap, what are they playing through?? A match box amo? These guys suck bad. They annoy me more then the 1-800-safe-auto Commercials... Actually to think of it.. The safe auto song is WAAYYY better then anything qotfa ever wrote. qotfa ='s Queers of the Fag age.... thats what call them around here.