Sound — 9
This, without a shadow of a doubt is not only one QOTSA's best, but is one of the best albums I have ever heard. Period. Being their first album, the work on this album is fairly impressive. Myself, the first record that I ever heard was Songs For The Deaf, and I was hooked! After I bought R and LTP, I decided to pick up the first. One problem. It's not in print anymore. Anywhere. So, I had to order it (a pricy $40), and I said to myself " this better be good". Well, it was. As far as sound goes, this album is much more raw than anything Josh would do in the future, making it have a much more "real" feel to it, as opposed to something that may be overproduced, such as, SFTD. This album is also a lot more basic and simple than the next three to follow (with the exception of perhaps "You Can't Quit Me Baby). This album is very riff oriented, and realies on a cool powerchord progression rather than an intricately woven song that they would do later songs such as "Someone's In The Wolf". Very repetitive, but it works here. Throughout the album you get a look at some of the styles that would influence his later work. And although this is an all Josh album, I was not upset by this. His voice was very interesting. The guitar sound was also very cool, as the guitars were tuned down to the infamous "C" tuning that Josh uses, but unlike the other albums that Josh does with this tuning, this is the only one where he actually plugged his guitar into a bass amp, and the result is very cool.
Lyrics — 7
This is the only part that is really a let down. Although not bad by any respect, he had a long way to improve before he would get to his signature style that would be seen on albums such as R. Though, there are some highlights, such as the opener "Regular John", which tells the story of a man seeing a phone number on a bathroom wall, and his infatuation that he has with the girl who owns the number. Another, and one of my faves of the album, is "I Was A Teenage Hand Model", which tells the story of a washed-up middle age man who reminices about his days as a Teenage model.
Overall Impression — 8
Certaintly one of the most addicting albums, this is a must have for any hard-core QOTSA fan who must own all the albums. My personal fav songs on the album were "Regular John", "Avon", How To Handle A Rope" and "IWATHM".The only thing that I was dissapointed was the lack of Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan. Speaking of Nick, if you listen to the end of "IWATHM", you'll hear Nick talkig on an answering machine. Very cool foreshadowing. What I love most about this album over all the others is the innocence that this album projected. Not yet has SFTD been released, nor has the expectations that Josh would have to live up to in later albums. If it was stolen, I would have to find who did it, and give them a new pair of shoes and take them out for a swim, then take it back.