Tag Archives: Queens of the stone age

…LIKE A CLOCKWORK

This is the first moment this week I’m having a coffee, relaxed, and even though I’m wasted after a exhausting week of work, I feel like writing. It’s weird because it’s afternoon, there’s still daylight and I’m more like a night writer, but perhaps the fact that I’m isolated from any external noise thanks to the headphones makes me be in the mood for this.

Subtle artificial light, my house in shades, and the recently leaked new album by QOTSA, …Like a Clockwork, right into my ears, help me to withdraw and forget about the damn containers, endless excel charts and other crap.

like a clockwork

I love experiencing the first encounters with an album which has been so long awaited. It’s like having a date with someone you feel attracted and somehow you idealize. You’re excited, exultant, yet you’re nervous and uncertain, because there’s a chance there’s something you don’t like which could ruin the whole situation.

I had a chance to listen to …Like a Clockwork last night with the headphones on too, and even though I was knackered, I did like the songs. But I admit my criteria at 1.30am is not the most objective, and the album became kind of soothing lullaby. Wonderful all the same.

Now I’m awake and ready to dissect probably the darkest QOTSA work up to date. I reckon this album is darker and harder than Lullabies to Paralyze.

I really like the evolution of Homme’s main project. QOTSA are not rookies anymore, and their current style is very unique, completely detached from those desert stoner tunes which marked their starting point 15 years ago. Homme is not the ginger kid anymore, took control of his career and kept on experimenting until he found his own thing. This is a fact that annoys those Kyuss crazy fans who can’t comprehend why he split ways with Garcia, and therefore will never accept QOTSA. With the passing of years I’ve learned that things most times happen for a reason, and if Homme decided not to go on with Kyuss he could justify if case he felt obliged to provide explanations.

Probably you’ve read this already but nowadays I like QOTSA more than Kyuss, or at least their presence is more constant. Of course Kyuss  are very important in my musical personal story, and their albums are unbeatable, but QOTSA and I are growing old together and at this time I feel completely related to their style. It’s rock, even pop, refined and classy, and keeping groove.

The campaign for promoting the album is one of the most fascinating I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy in long time. QOTSA and the British artist Boneface have joined to deliver one of the most attractive combinations of music and artwork ever. The amazing cover, likeclockworktv.com, the videos, the promo on social networks…the tenuous atmosphere created is simply brilliant and magnetic.

I really like when bands try to set some kind of ties with their fans by this constant bombing of gifts for your pleasure which will eventually conclude with the release of the album. This leak wasn’t casual.  It was a strategy, and I’m very glad about it, otherwise I’d have waited for 3 more weeks.

qotsa

This is the 4th time I’m listening to …Like a Clockwork. I like it. I really like it, but it’s not an easy piece of cake. It’s like a trip to an awkward place, a bit frightening but appealing at the same time.

The opening cut Keep Your Eyes Peeled is a dark and insane blues, a risky bet. I don’t think everybody is ready to face it, and it’s a statement implying what’s to come is definitely rough. There are absolute lysergic songs such as Kalopsia, The Vampyre of Time and Memory or Like a Clockwork. There’s lots of Pink Floyd scent in there. And then direct hits such as I Sat by the Ocean, If I Had a Tail, My God is the Sun which are 100% QOTSA.

At this moment, the hidden surprise is definitely Feathered Friends. Instant crush. It’s epic, intense and overwhelming. Haven’t read much about collaborations, but apparently Trent Reznor, former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan and (!!!) Elton John are present in this song.

My date has finally been a total crush and I’m now glad and excited. Now I’ll have to wait for the record to be officially released and receive it at home. Today Homme and QOTSA have made my day. Wish all were like this. I’m happy!

ALBUM OF WEEK 15: RATED R

Just one month remaining till QOTSA new album release, … Like a Clockwork, I’m starting to get nervous. It’s taken Josh Homme 6 years to take control back of the band, leave his others projects for a while, and record an album. It’s been too long since the fans don’t received new stuff, and we are eager! Got my copy preordered.

Little by little I’m recovering the different albums of their discography, and every time I do it, I’m full of enthusiasm. Queens Of The Stone Age has become one of my favorite bands, and Josh Homme not only an object, well, figure of desire, but also one of my favorite personal rock icons, thanks to his unique voice, so criticized by many, his style playing guitar, his talent writing music, and his charisma.

This time Rated R, QOTSA’s second work, is the album of the week.

rated r

Released in June 2000, when I was still living in London, I attended a promoting show at The Underworld, actually 3 days before its release worldwide and even though it was a great night and I was introduced to Josh by -cough, cough- Dave Wyndorf, I was a bit disappointed. They didn’t sound as groovie as their previous shows, and songs were too fast.

Somehow it discouraged me from listening to this album for long time and for some time, as I’ve already explained here, I really lost my interest for the band. Just because of one show. Sometimes I don’t understand myself, really.

I remember as if it was yesterday when I decided my hissy fit had to come to an end. I went straight to the record store, didn’t feel like digging and wasting my time, so I went straight to the guy and asked him for the album. I said R, and he didn’t know what I was talking about. I said Rated R and he stared at me as if I was an imbecile. Finally I asked him for QOTSA and he reacted. This was the “blue album”. What a pro, holy shit!

I came back home and started playing it on the stereo nonstop. First impression was that it wasn’t as great as the debut album, but quickly I swallowed my words.

Rated R was the album which took them to massive success. Apology for drugs, Mark Lanegan’s first collaboration providing lead vocals on In The Fade, which is AWESOME, and backing vocals on several songs, charismatic and insane Nick Oliveri  also joining the band for the first time and becoming a very active member, both as a showman, musician and troublemaker,  and  a handful of hit songs which blew people’s minds. The cocktail couldn’t fail.

hommeoliveri

Not only QOTSA’s trademark were Homme’s killing guitar riffs and voice, which by the way he’s been polishing throughout these years adding more varied dynamics, and widening his register. The master formula,  was based on the repetition. Repetition of riffs, of drums, of backing vocals, of phrasing…of everything. Sometimes drums barely change from verse through chorus, and don’t perform “complex” rolls. With this I do not mean drums are simple, no way.

One of the most boring things a drummer has to do is to play on their own, in order to practice and improve their skills. You might ignore I used to play drums a bit. Not a skillful one, neither a crappy one. But as usual, missing people to jam with, and lack of encouragement from certain people, prevented me for attempting to go further. My story with instruments is a sad one. Never was too constant, I didn’t get my own drum kit and since all men I’ve been related to have been musicians (some of them very talented and multiplayer), I never took myself very seriously and didn’t believe in myself enough as to give it a try.

All this confession has to do with the fact that for some time I went to these rent-a-studio-per-hour places for some months one hour a week, to play drums by myself. I had these hearing protectors for workers, with my headphones inside connected to the iPod, in order to play over the music. Considering the repetition of QOTSA’s songs and the structures, I used to play the debut album and Rated R a lot, at a low level, of course, but it was definitely a good motivation. Auto Pilot and You Can’t Quit Me Baby used to blow my head. But I quit drumming eventually.

When you face R for the first time, first impression is based on the hits I was mentioning: Feel Good Hit of the Summer, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, and Monsters in the Parasol. It’s when you start digging beyond that when you start truly enjoying this album. If I had to choose my favorite songs probably the chosen one would be In the Fade and Auto Pilot, followed by Leg of Lamb and Better Living Through Chemistry. Still, in my opinion Rated R is not as complete as Queens of the Stone Age or Songs for the Deaf, but I love it anyway.

 

ALBUM OF WEEK 1: LULLABIES TO PARALYZE

The first week of a year is always confusing. While most people are still in Xmas mood (in Spain we also celebrate the Epiphany on the 6 and the visit of the 3 Wise Kings to baby Jesus), I’m just sick and tired of this consumer mayhem. Determined to behave and control myself regarding partying, everybody is approaching these last days to gather and get booze. I try to be low profile on those days, and even though it’s not on purpose, I’m usually moodier and lower spirited than usual. I’m also a bit sensitive too, thus my appetite for music varies in extreme.

Lullabies to Paralyze

Thus, I started the year with Elvis and Backyard Babies (Total 13,  can be too predictable sometimes), I recovered some Steve Earle‘s stuff and listened intensely the two first albums of Mink DeVille, but the first 2013 album of the week goes to Lullabies to Paralyze.

I’m a QOTSA diehard fan, you already know that. One of my first posts related to the album of the week featured Songs for The Deaf, which took me many years to realize it’s probably their most solid work up to date.

Fans are usually divided into those who prefer the first albums, moving closer to Homme’s former band, Kyuss, and those who find the band finally found their personal style with Songs for the Deaf.

Lullabies to Paralyze is a step forward. Nick Oliveri had been fired from the band, Mark Lanegan and Homme working hand in hand delivering this dark album, and Joey Castillo on drums and the guitarist Troy Leeuwen as super active new members in the band. Great changes in short time.

QOTSA

Even though in general ratings Lullabies to Paralyzed is considered not as good as its predecessor, this was the album charting the highest.

As for me, this is another album designed for slow digestion. It didn’t get me crazy when it was released, however as I’ve been listening to it through all these years, I’ve been developing passion for it. it’s a great album, including amazing QOTSA’s classics, such as Little Sister, Burn The Witch, In my Head, Medication…songs to turn you on and in the mood for anything.

I love these albums which keep something unique, a treasure which cannot be compared to the rest of the track list due to its greatness. Lullabies to Paralyze has one, I Never Came. This song usually comes to my mind and evokes me different feelings. It’s sexy, decadent, sad, transmits some abandon…it’s one of my favorite QOTSA songs actually. Just for this song, this album is worth listening.

 

I really can’t wait to listen to Queens Of The Stone Age new album. It’s been more than 5 years since their last album release. I feel very curious about what they might deliver, even though I don’t get disappointed with anything coming from Homme. Perhaps I’m no longer objective, but after a long process and some struggle to overcome my state of denial, I must admit I love this band. We’ll see…

QUEENS ON THE STONE AGE WILL TURN ME ON AGAIN!

Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

Back in February I was telling you about the rumour spread by the band themselves about the possibility of touring just playing their self-titled debut album, remember?

Rumors were followed by confirmations, but European tour seemed to have forgotten  Spain, although there are many fans of the band here. Tickets for the shows got sold out immediately, in a matter of few hours. Again it was like “Shit, I’m gonna miss this!”

I had told you I had seen them back in the 90’s when supporting this first album and felt totally in love with Josh Homme singing, the riffs, lyrics and everything, so I needed to see this again.

Today, Last Tour International, the promoters which organize  Azkena Rock Festival, were to confirm some more bands early morning. It’s taken a couple of hours to confirm the great news: QOTSA are headlining the second day of the festival!!!

This decision has been controversial and reactions completely contradictory. Sorry for the people disappointed, I can’t be happier. Well, yes I could, but I was really  willing to see them again, this time in a festival, and playing hit after hit.

Cannot describe how I feel whenever I think of me standing in front of the stage seeing these guys opening with Regular John, following with Avon and If Only, and the rest. Uff! This gives me goose bumps.

Here is a taste of what’s coming….

Queens Of The Stone Age – If Only

Definitely Queens of the Stone Age are one of my top fav bands ever, and I’m gonna see them again. Yes, once more, AIN’T LIFE GRAND???

ALBUM OF WEEK 9 – SONGS FOR THE DEAF

 For few days the idea of selecting the album of the week has been present in my head and eventually I’ve decided I’m going to do it. It hasn’t to be my favorite, just any that affects or impresses me over the rest for a week. Could be a release or the typical old album I’ve listened to like thousands of times, anything goes…

I’m currently listening to more stuff than I used to, and I love it! And I listen to what I want whenever I want…this is an added value in my life I particularly enjoy with enormous pleasure. Thus I feel very passionate about some albums and want to share it here.

Because I’m constantly depending on calendars in my job (yes, someday I’ll entertain you talking about what I do, not the right moment now though), I’m including the number of the week as a referrer, so that in the future I can compare and remember my mood in certain moments.

As you already know, or by reading this crappy blog, should know, I’ve been totally hypnotized by The 59’ Sound by The Gaslight Anthem, in fact I can’t help listening to it on a daily basis, but because I already talked about it and what I pretend is a fresh start of what is to become a sort of regular post, we’ll forget about it for the moment, or we could consider it the album of the past two weeks 7 and 8.

OK, enough chit chat, let’s get focused. The album of the week is SONGS FOR THE DEAF, by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

I love this band but it’s curious the progression till I became a diehard fan. Let me tell you another story of grandma Toi…

Back in 1998 I was living in London. Kyuss was THE band for me in that moment although they had already separated ways. Still, any following projects were still interesting for me and Stoner was the style of music, together with Scandinavian punk rock, which had impressed me the most.

QOTSA released the first album, self-titled, the one I’m about to receive in vinyl (yesss!) and as soon as they came to London I went to see their performance, at The Garage. It was amaaazing! I bought the cd immediately plus The Desert Session vol III/IV. I felt in love with it the first minute I listened to Avon.

In 2000 they came to introduce Rated R, and to be honest, show didn’t mean so much to me, not so fresh, my ass wasn’t as kicked as one year before, and got quite disappointed. Nowadays I love this album, I don’t know what was happening in my mind back then, it was about 7 years ago when I bought it and thought “Toi, what an asshole!”

With Songs for the Deaf I was already back in Spain and didn’t interest me at all, in fact, I almost forgot about them with this one and Lullabies to Paralyze. Big mistake!

I remember a friend of mine reckoning his favorite QOTSA’s album was Songs for the Deaf, I couldn’t believe it. I used to think the first songs were definite, but then energy was getting weaker and in the end I was finding it boring.

Things have changed, that I can tell. I love every single album and for sure they are one of my top bands, even if they were playing polka I’d follow them to death. Many people criticized Era Vulgaris but I adore it.

Anyway, once this said, lately I’m listening to Songs for the Deaf compulsively, and I cannot find any fault, from top to bottom it’s perfect, in fact is one of the most consistent of their albums, alternating rhythm of songs masterly. This is perfection for me.

The start is absolutely demolishing with You think I ain’t worth a dollar, but I feel like a millionaire (what an awesome song title, it’s a definite declaration of principles I feel very identified with), it’s the perfect warmer for what’s coming next. I love turning the volume to 11 whenever I play it, wow man! Rage and energy at their purest.

I wasn’t  not sure whether I should comment each song,  no way, you gotta discover this for yourselves. I haven’t decided which is my favorite song, First it giveth? Go with the flow? A song for the deaf? Gonna leave you? I don’t know! They’re all terrific!

I just can tell this is a hell of a good record and I’m glad to have reconsidered my relationship with QOTSA. You should, no, you MUST check them out!