Era Vulgaris Review

artist: Queens of the Stone Age date: 06/13/2007 category: compact discs

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Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris
Release Date: Jun 12, 2007
Label: Interscope
Genres: Stoner Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 11
Latin for "common era," Era Vulgaris holds a pair of common threads with the four Queens of the Stone Age records that preceded it.
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 8.9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 75 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Era Vulgaris Featured review by: UG Team, on june 13, 2007
14 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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! // 9

- Kosh (c) 2007

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overall: 8.7
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: Son_of_Kyuss, on june 13, 2007
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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! // 9

Lyrics: 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". // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: shamrockrovers, on june 13, 2007
3 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sound: Era Vulgaris is Homme's fifth Queens album, and like the others, it's intricately crafted, meticulously polished and ruthlessly efficient in it's pursuit of depraved rock thrills, with robotic rhythm machines like "Turning on the Screw" and "I'm Designer." Last time, Homme got slept on with the excellent but underrated Lullabies to Paralyze, people were thrown off initially by it's down-in-the-dumps mood, which may be why the music took longer to kick in for some fans. But Era Vulgaris is a lot cockier than Lullabies, clobbering you instantly with guitars louder and uglier than a psychedelic biker party at Joshua Tree's Skull Rock. "Misfit Love" is the ultimate Queens anthem, all low-register guitar crunch, with a percussion track that sounds like tennis balls the size of Betelgeuse crashing into a Moog factory. Homme snarls, "I wanna see my past in flames," and he gets his wish. // 8

Lyrics: We get the many moods of Josh Homme, most of which concern the miracle of physical love and the procurement thereof. He's always said he wanted the Queens to be a band for the ladies, not the menfolk, and from the vocals to the bass lines this is his most crotch-tensive music. "Make It Wit Chu" is an old Desert Sessions song, revamped into a ridiculous lover-boy plaint, with Homme doing his sleaziest falsetto over a lounge-lizard cousin of Neil Young's "Southern Man." "Into the Hollow" is a surprisingly tender purple-haze ballad, with Homme's vibrato amid a gently quivering wah-wah and the usual assload of bass. "Run Pig Run" is staccato jackhammer blues metal, "3's and 7's" sounds like prime Nirvana and "Sick, Sick, Sick" is manic punk riffing, offering "a lick on the lips and a grip on your hips." // 9

Overall Impression: If there's one thing you should have learned about Homme by now, he'll heist a badass riff from anywhere. In "I'm Designer," he sings about his "generation" and means it, his fey falsetto a parody of hippie cosmic aspirations. But even though the joke is a great one, you hear that falsetto, and you realize it's here for one main reason, just like every other sonic flourish on Era Vulgaris: Josh Homme loves how it sounds. This one of Queens best albums standout tracks are "Sick Sick Sick" "I'm Designer" and "3's and 7's". If it was lost/stolen I would certainly buy another one. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: ethayn, on january 08, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The guitar riffs are as awesome as ever. They provide a variety of different moods and tones, and is very fun to go through the album over and over. The distortion is just right, not too much or too little, and each song has its own unique flavor from fast-paced 3's and 7's to slow, mellow Suture Up Your Future. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are very catchy and interesting. They contribute to the mood of the music, which Queens frequently does. They are very clever at times, especially in songs including I'm Designer and Misfit Love. Josh Homme does very well singing as always. Overall, the lyrics are very well done and fun to sing along to. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a great Queens album. I would not say it's their best, simply because they all are amazing. The tracks that stick out to me are Turnin on the Screw, Sick Sick Sick, Misfit Love, and 3's and 7's. They are all really fun to listen to and each is unique. Some songs I don't care for are Make it Wit Chu, because they've already released a copy of it, and Run Pig Run. That's just my opinion though. If I lost it I wouldn't have to buy it again because it is on my Itunes, but if it weren't for that I would definitely have to buy it again. A must have. // 9

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overall: 10
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: theokwilderbeas, on may 29, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: In this album, Q.O.T.S.A have drifted far away from any form of average metal (like the tunes in songs for the deaf) and have instead, chosen a much more unique path. The album is still complete with it's high, haunting, slidy solos and harmonic bass and guitar rhythms but the sound has changed dramatically. The overall sound is a lot more groggy and, in a way, depressing. But don't let this put you off! Queens are as rocky as ever in a catchy as well as melodic way with lots of separate little sounds building up a mass of strong music. There is good variation between the songs meaning you don't get bored by the end, including very slow 'beautiful tunes' like 'make it wit chu' as well fast, heavy tunes with crazy solos like '3's and 7's'. Overall a fantastic and unique range. // 10

Lyrics: Josh Homme returns as the amazingly melodic singer. The lyrics are, as always, quite hard to make out, but they do a more important job of adding an extra outstanding melody line over the top, generally giving the music a lot more depth. Josh is probably one of the best singers in rock music. // 10

Overall Impression: This is definitely in my top ten albums of all time. There's a lot of depth to it and although it can be hard to listen to at first, the more you listen, the more amazing it gets. 3's and 7's as well as Turnin' on the screw (check out my bass tab) are fantastic rocky tunes and make it wit chu is just as stunning but in a completely different way. These songs are the obvious highlights but the other songs are a lot more interesting. The only bad point is the overall sound gets a bit depressing towards the end but Q.O.T.S.A do the mood so well so it would be a shame without these songs. If I lost this album I'd definitely buy it again, no matter how expensive, it's just that good. // 10

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overall: 10
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 23, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this CD is very raunchy. The guitars are very cruntchy. The bass is nice and thick, just the way you want. The drums, well, I'm at a weird angle with the drums because in some songs the drume are killer (Turnin' on the Screw), and in others their so simple it sounded like a 13 year old just banged out the same beat for a whole song, (Sick, Sick, Sick). But even when the drums are simple they still sound nice and good so I can look past that. Thier is also a nice electric under tone to the album which was something the Queens were never known for doin so it's nice to see a band that can change up thier sound but still keep the elements that define them and still make it sound awesome. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing. Josh has had his own writing stlye and he maintains it so if you didn't like his lyrics on the other cds, you want be a big fan of this one either. The man dose has a way with words. In the musical era of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic at The Disco, and all that emo crap, it gives me hope to see a band who steer clear of that whiney my g/f left me stuff. But even when the song topic is of girls (Make It Wit Chu) it's all about the wonderful joys of sex. South Of the belt buckle if ya know what I mean. But at the end of the day, this band can hold thier own in the lyrics department. // 10

Overall Impression: Well if you haven't already guessed I love this cd. I have Rated R, Songs For The Deaf, and all the others. And like almost all thier cds this one has it's own personal sound which I love. The most impressive songs on the album would have to be Make It Wit Chu, Into The Hollow, Turnin' On the Screw, I'm Designer, and Sick, Sick, Sick (love that post chorus riff). If it were stolen I would buy two copies just to make sure I was prepared for next time But if you a little tired of the whole emo/pop/scremo and would like to try something a little bit more deeper, a little bit more sexy, and a little bit more better, then I would highly suggest picking this one up. You want be dissapointed! // 10

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overall: 7.7
Era Vulgaris Reviewed by: Karkusman, on february 06, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound for this album is true Queens of the Stone Age. Ranging from heavy Metallica like rhythms to the playful sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd This must be one of Queens of the Stone Age's best albums yet. So far I've heard some people complain about whether to get this album or not after all isn't the Queens of the Stone Age sound getting a bit old. I can assure you this album is very different compared to the others. "Lullabies to Paralyse" has a blues theme, "Songs for the deaf" has a heavy metal theme and "Rated R" has a melodic metal theme. Like the others this is very different and because of this people will have very mixed views. All I can say is anyone who's looking for good solid album with a range of great songs definitely consider buying this album. // 8

Lyrics: Queens of the Stone Age Lyrics are very much the same as always. However do not let this put you off because like the sound there is a good range of quality. I will say the lyrics are more like the one that were written for songs for the "songs for the deaf" Album. I would write more about these lyrics but I'm more of music man. // 7

Overall Impression: Another good solid album under Queens of the Stone Age's belt and another one that you can be assured you will like listing to. However like I said before I will say that some people will consider this the best album and some people will consider it the worst; it all depends on what Queens of the Stone Age style you prefer. To me this is probably there best album up to date and I'd would happily say "I can't wait for there next album to come out!" // 8

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