Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

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QOTSA: Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

This, the second album by QOTSA and their first on a major label, was their breakthrough exactly a deacde ago and had critics digging in their superlatives bag.

Oddly enough though, it wasn't because it was ground-breaking and innovative but rather it was (mostly) simply no nonsense, no flaffing about hard rock which was grounded in the great tradition of Zepp/Sabbath but with a dollop Meat Puppets desert-psychedelia and loud pop.

The catalogue of drugs on the opener Feel Good Hit of the Summer announced that they mightn't be here for a long time, but they were certainly here for a good time -- and with Blue Cheer-like guitar (Auto Pilot,  Better Living Through Chemistry) from Josh Homme it has a late Sixties garagemetal feel to it also. And a little Nirvana-drone/loud (In the Fade)

This was history reprogrammed but sounding like it had just been discovered and was being rewired for a new generation.

QOTSA were also somewhat of a supergroup serving up a super-session: Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri and Chris Goss were from Kyuss; guitarist Brendon Nicholl had played in Masters of Reality with Goss; Rob Halford from Judas Priest sang backing on Feel Good; Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees (later to join on a semi-permament basis) also sang back-up . . .

The album also just sounded like head-banging fun, notably on Quick and to the Pointless with Oliveri's yelped vocals and what could be the Runaways on girlie backing vocals, and the bruising riffery of Tension Head.

Was then, and still is, a great hard rock album.

The Deluxe Edition comes with an extra disc of half a dozen B-sides (Ray Davies' Who'll be the Next in Line given a typically tough treatment and proving again their pop heart behind the leather vest), and them live at Reading later that year.

A great album just got deeper and wider. 

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