Sunday, August 21, 2005

33 and a 1/3

Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) was created out of the ashes of one of Big Ell’s favorite bands Kyuss. Kyuss came from Palm Desert, California in the early 1990’s and were wildly unpopular. Their heavy guitars and sludgy sound failed to please the masses but did make them favorites of stoners everywhere. I did manage to see them at the Starfish Room and was blown away. Quite possibly the loudest and heaviest show I’ve ever seen. After Kyuss disbanded in 1997. Singer/guitarist Josh Homme moved to Seattle and began jamming with a number of Seattle musicians. These jams led Homme to form QOTSA in 1998 with former Kyuss drummer Alfredo Hernandez and Kyuss guitarist/keyboardist Dave Catchings. Bassist Nick Olivieri left the Dwarves to fill out the lineup.

QOTSA are not your traditional band, they have had a revolving lineup with Homme and Olivieri as the only constants throughout the first three albums. Gone from the band on their newest album Lullabies to Paralyze is bassist Oliveri, guitarist Dean Ween and Dave Grohl. So now QOTSA is primarily Homme's band, with mixed results. Lullabies sees the return of Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees fame on a few tracks and the album begins with his ballad then erupts with 5 great songs. Tangled up in Plaid is a catchy number but my favorite song is In my Head. The song Little Sister is the bigbest hit from the album with a reverberating cowbell further immortalized by Will Ferrell and QOTSA on Saturday Night Live. The album then veers off into some slower songs with Someone's in the Wolf being the only hit amongst many misses.

The only problem that I have with the QOTSA is that they have yet to put together a full album. Each album borders on greatness but ultimately just miss. I also miss the metal aggression that Olivieri brought to the group. Troy Van Leeuwen from A Perfect Circle does a nice job ad does Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top who adds vocals/guitars to the Burn the Witch but they simply can't match Olivieri's rage and speed. In addition the percussion takes a hit with Grohl not returning from Songs for the Dead. Lullabies to Paralyze is another very good album from QOTSA, but unfortunately not a great one.

Winamp Worthy: Tangled Up in Plaid, In My Head, Little Sister, Someone's in the Wolf

Big Ell’s Rating: Murder 2
(intentional but not premeditated) Penalty 8 to Life; This CD rocks you’ll be doing 8 to life if you don’t give it a listen.

disregard continue here


Des said...

What's the deal with spam comments? Weird...anyway, I love the QOTSA and thought Songs for the Deaf was the album of the year. If you don't already know: I would say that Homme's masterpiece lies in Desert Sessions 9&10.

Check it out.

BigEll said...

The spam is very annoying and I have no idea how to get rid of it. I do have the 'desert sessions,' and I agree with you.

Des said...

I too think that they have yet to release their best album but it's just a shame I think their best was 2 albums ago...

It'll take a lot to get back to those heights. Have you heard the song Josh Homme does with UNKLE?