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Rock - Released August 25, 2017 | Matador

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Gone are the times when these masters of stoner rock waved their throbbing heavy guitars while scrunching their eyebrows… Twenty years after forming their band under the Californian sun and palm trees, Queens Of The Stone Age have skilfully evolved without ever selling out. With Villains, Josh Homme and his crew have even taken on a rather unexpected passenger in the name of… Mark Ronson! Two years after his giant hit Uptown Funk carried by the voice of Bruno Mars, the Londoner who exploded onto the mainstream scene with his work on Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, finds himself producing QOTSA’s seventh album, which unlike usual doesn’t feature any guest. And the result fits in perfectly with this iconoclastic partnership: the band’s usual virile and sparkly rock’n’roll (irresistible on their single The Way You Used To Do) is beefed up by an energetic production. And Ronson’s funky and groovy DNA blends in with the Californians’, more Bowiesque than ever (obvious on Un-Reborn Again). By the way, isn’t the title Villains echoing the Thin White Duke’s Heroes? © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2013 | Matador

All the surface evidence on ...Like Clockwork suggests Josh Homme is steering Queens of the Stone Age back to familiar territory. Once again, he's enlisted drummer Dave Grohl as his anchor and he's made amends with his erstwhile bassist Nick Oliveri, suggesting Homme is returning to either Rated R or Songs for the Deaf, the two turn-of-the-millennium masterpieces that thrust QOTSA out of their stoner rock cult, but ...Like Clockwork isn't so simple as a return to roots. Homme flirts with his history as a way to make sense of his present, reconnecting with his strengths as a way to reorient himself, consolidating his indulgences and fancies into a record that obliterates middle-age malaise without taking a moment to pander to the past. Like always, Homme opens himself up to collaborations, wrangling an impressive roster that includes his wife Brody Dalle, his longtime companion Mark Lanegan, his protégé Arctic Monkey Alex Turner, his kindred spirit Trent Reznor, Scissor Sister Jake Shears, and superstar Elton John, but despite this large cast, the only musician who makes an indelible presence is Homme himself. ...Like Clockwork is unusually focused for a Queens of the Stone Age record, containing all of the group's hallmarks -- namely volume and crunch, but also a tantalizing sense of danger, finding seduction within the darkness -- but there is little of the desert sprawl and willful excess that have always distinguished their records. This is forceful, purposeful, fueled by dense interwoven riffs and colored with hints of piano and analog synthesizers that quite consciously evoke '70s future dystopia. QOTSA always specialized in this eerie sexiness, but the precision on ...Like Clockwork -- quite different than the merciless propulsion of Era Vulgaris, the 2007 album that closed out their time at Interscope -- feels conceptually tight, Homme smartly sculpting guitar fuzz, elastic solos, haunted harmonies, and deceptively slinky rhythms into a cool, relentless collection of heavy rock. The force impresses but also the restraint: there are missed beats and open space, muscular music that seduces and pummels, even manages to soothe while it assaults. It's complex, harder, and catchier than anything QOTSA have done in a decade, and more song-oriented, too, but that's a sign of maturity: Homme has marshaled all of his strengths on ...Like Clockwork and has found a way forward, a way to deepen his music without compromising his identity. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Interscope

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Rock - Released November 22, 2005 | Interscope

Released a mere eight months after their divisive fourth album Lullabies to Paralyze, Over the Years and Through the Woods is a CD/DVD package documenting Queens of the Stone Age in concert -- and as the punning title indicates, it's not just on the 2005 tour, either, but from throughout their career. The centerpiece of the DVD, and all of the CD, is their London shows at the Brixton Academy and Kokos from the summer of 2005, but the DVD's bonus footage includes a wealth of performances shot at the time of each album's release. Which means, of course, that there's footage of QOTSA with Dave Grohl on drums for 2002's Songs for the Deaf, but that's hardly the only captivating footage here -- there's grainy audience tapes for the first album, Billy F. Gibbons playing "Burn the Witch" with the band for Lullabies, and the main feature has behind-the-scenes footage and interviews scattered throughout. It's an excellent DVD, and while the CD isn't nearly as an immersing experience -- how could it be? -- it is a lean, hard live album that thrives on its casual virtuosity. While that may not be the sort of thing that will win over new fans, this densely packed set is targeted at the hardcore fans and it more than pays back their long-standing devotion. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Interscope

On their third album, Songs for the Deaf, Queens of the Stone Age are so concerned with pleasing themselves with what they play that they don't give a damn for the audience. This extends to the production, with the entire album framed as a broadcast from a left-of-the-dial AM radio station, the sonics compressed so every instrument is flattened. It’s a joke run wild, punctuated by an ironic mock DJ, and it fits an album where the players run wild. As usual, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri have brought in a number of guests, including Mark Lanegan on vocals and Dean Ween on guitar, but they’ve anchored themselves with the drumming of the mighty Dave Grohl, who helps give the band the muscle sorely missing from most guitar rock these days, whether it's indie rock or insipid alt-metal. QOTSA may be a muso band -- a band for musicians and those who have listened to too much music; why else did the greatest drummer and greatest guitarist in '90s alt-rock (Grohl and Ween, respectively) anxiously join this ever-shifting collective? -- but that’s the pleasure of the band, and Songs for the Deaf in particular: it’s restless and pummeling in its imagination and power. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Interscope

The second Queens of the Stone Age album, Rated R (as in the movie rating; its title was changed from II at the last minute before release), makes its stoner rock affiliations clear right from the opening track. The lyrics of "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" consist entirely of a one-line list of recreational drugs that Josh Homme rattles off over and over, a gag that gets pretty tiresome by the end of the song (and certainly doesn't need the reprise that follows "In the Fade"). Fortunately, the rest of the material is up to snuff. R is mellower, trippier, and more arranged than its predecessor, making its point through warm fuzz-guitar tones, ethereal harmonies, vibraphones, horns, and even the odd steel drum. That might alienate listeners who have come to expect a crunchier guitar attack, but even though it's not really aggro, R is still far heavier than the garage punk and grunge that inform much of the record. It's still got the vaunted California-desert vibes of Kyuss, but it evokes a more relaxed, spacious, twilight feel, as opposed to a high-noon meltdown. Mark Lanegan and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees both appear on multiple tracks, and their band's psychedelic grunge -- in its warmer, less noisy moments -- is actually not a bad point of comparison. Longtime Kyuss fans might be disappointed at the relative lack of heaviness, but R's direction was hinted at on the first QOTSA album, and Homme's experimentation really opens up the band's sound, pointing to exciting new directions for heavy guitar rock in the new millennium. ~ Steve Huey
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Interscope

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Interscope

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Interscope

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Rock - Released June 15, 2017 | Matador

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Rock - Released September 28, 2007 | Interscope

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 10, 2017 | Matador

Rock - Released November 22, 2005 | Interscope

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Rock - Released March 7, 2005 | Interscope