Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

 |   |  <1 min read

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

While it easy to point out the obvious on this album – the skull-pounding riffery which is a QOTSA signature (notably on the closing overs of the pounding Evil Has Landed) and the involvement of producer Mark Ronson to add a twist – there are other and slightly unexpected elements which emerge: the subtle Bowie-as-heroic-political-balladeer influence in Josh Homme's vocals (notably on Domestic Animals and Fortress); the overt reference to Bowie's one-time running mate Marc Bolan on the glam-pop of Un-Reborn Again; Homme and Ronson shaping a timeless pop-rock ballad on Hideaway which succeeds more through understatement . . .

Despite Ronson's presence (you'd perhaps not have though Amy Winehouse's songshaper and sometimes over-producer would have a place here) much of this is QOTSA as many want to hear them, just sharper, more focused in places (less in others regrettably) and pushing a few more boundaries.

But material like The Way You Used to Do is little more than familiar boogie and you suspect if you didn't know who it was you'd shrug. It's a bit of fun but sent me to an old ZZ Top album . . . which I suspect wasn't the intention.

Parallel to the music of course Homme is a man with things to say (personal and political mostly) but even here there are too many times when it doesn't add up to as much as it might have.

So an album like the curate's egg, good in parts, but not the outright cleanly-produced killer or experiment it could have been.

Share It

Your Comments

mason baker - Sep 5, 2017

This album isn't far off being the best release of 2017. GRAHAM REPLIES: Seems to have divided people this one, for my money when it's good it's great but then there's the other songs.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Simon Thacker and Justyna Jablonska: Karmana (Slap the Moon)

Simon Thacker and Justyna Jablonska: Karmana (Slap the Moon)

When we interviewed Scottish guitarist Simon Thacker in 2015 in advance of his New Zealand tour it was hard to know how describe him. “Guitarist without portfolio” seems about as... > Read more

Colin Meloy: Sings Live! (Rough Trade)

Colin Meloy: Sings Live! (Rough Trade)

Something about a couple of these solo songs sounded oddly familiar and I suspect I may have seen this Portland-based singer-songwriter and mainman in the Decemberists at a songwriter night in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LILA DOWNS INTERVIEWED 2007: Singing the politics and heritage of Mexico

LILA DOWNS INTERVIEWED 2007: Singing the politics and heritage of Mexico

Lila Downs admits she is surprised her music has become internationally successful. After all, much of what she sings is in Spanish, it speaks of the pride and plight of the Mexican and Indian... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Frank Burkitt

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Frank Burkitt

Hats off to Wellington-based expat Scot Frank Burkitt who is ambitiously taking his folk band on an extensive national tour . . . and we do mean extensive (see dates and venues below). Not only... > Read more