Sound — 10
Consisting of three covers, a remake, an update and an oldie, Stone Age Complications is an EP that covers Queens of the Stone Age's early beginnings up to the highly public ousting of Nick Oliveri. It opens with the first of a pair of tracks with him on vocals, a cover of The Kinks "Who Will Be the Next In Line". Taken straight from the Rated R era, it remains a wonderfully catchy, pop song, showing the direct influence Ray Davies has on QOTSA mastermind Josh Homme. The remix is certainly unexpected; primarily because it's fantastic. Unkle, who produced the remix, would go on to work with the band numerous times and do a wonderful job here at turning the classic "No One Knows" into something completely different. An awesome dance track. The only cover sung by Josh is the Cramps "Most Exalted Potentate of Love", a B-side for the single "First it Giveth". It's incredibly faithful to the original version, leaking nostalgia yet sounding distinctly like a QOTSA track.
Lyrics — 9
It's hard to rate an EP with tracks written by four different bands so I'll primarily focus on the artist in question. Lyrically, "Born to Hula" is as crazy as it sounds, a menacing marathon of song, using Homme's voice and guitar as an anchor, with everything else spreading in every direction imaginable. His voice sounds just as great on "The Bronze", one of my all time favourite Queens of the Stone Age tracks. How could it not be, opening with a line like "I've been waiting, waiting under things that rise in the morning."
Overall Impression — 9
As B-Sides go, this band has enough to fill a double album and some of the omissions made are unforgiveable. It feels as if the EP was forced out in the wake of Oliveri's leaving, what would eventually become Lullabies to Paralyze had to be put on hold. So as great as Nick sounds on the Subhumans "Wake up Screaming", you can't help but think it'd been a lot better if "Ode to Clarissa" was there instead. I have to admit, it was a great idea adding the new version of "Born to Hula", an improvement on the original track from the Kyuss split EP. So, as a record company produced record goes, it certainly works in its goal of showing off the bands many talents to new listeners. So where as Lullabies wasn't Songs for the Deaf two, Stone Age Complications quite possibly is instead. All in all, a slightly impersonal collection from one of the greatest bands around today.