Queens of the Stone Age Return with Devious New Album “Villains”
Queens of the Stone Age are back with their new album Villains. An album that gets in your head with classic Queens riffs, catchy hooks, and atmospheric sounds make this one of the bands’ best to date.
“Me and my gang come to bust you loose” sings Josh Homme on “Feet Don’t Fail Me”, the album’s killer first track and the band does just that on their rocking new album. Villains kicks off with an intro of dissonant sounds that leads into a synth goth rock intro before launching into high gear with Homme’s distorted, groovy, guitar riff. The Queens are back with their signature brand of sexy leather clad rock with a twist…
Villains is the band’s first album in 4 years. The last time we heard from Queens of the Stone Age was their critically acclaimed 2013 album …Like Clockwork. After a few years off, the band has come back better than ever with a dark, devious album. With “Uptown Funk” producer Mark Ronson behind the boards, the band has created a perfect mix of goth rock and classic rock beats reminiscent of 70’s Stones.
“The Way You Used to Do”, “Head Like a Haunted House”, and “The Evil Has Landed” showcase the band’s classic sound of distorted fuzzy riffs that aren’t quite bluesy but aren’t quite rock, a perfect medium of the two. “Haunted House” is a perfect punk track that almost feels like it could be a b-side from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fans will be sure to move and groove to them live. However, these aren’t even the best part of the album even though they show us the band hasn’t lost any energy in their time off.
“Domesticated Animals”, “Hideaway”, and the album’s epic closer “Villains of Circumstance” provide the listener with a soundscape that verges on cinematic. The guitars compliment the goth rock synth perfectly but the best part of these tracks are the strings so cleverly mixed in by Ronson. Combined with Homme’s lyrics, everything is fantastic culmination of music that is so pleasing to the senses you can’t help but want more.
“Domesticated Animals” is the album’s most villainous track. While it’s uncertain what Homme is commenting on (the Trump administration? The state of our country?) the track is perfectly dissonant. The guitar riff is unnerving, the chorus anxiety inducing. “Get right up, kneel and bow/Where’s your revolution now?” sings Homme. There’s something evil in this track that justifies the album’s title.
“Un-Reborn Again” is another highlight from the album. It’s a six minute rocker that feels like a three minute track. The bluesy riff and synth in the background will make you want to play the track again right after it finishes. The track is commentary on society today. “Indulgence of beauty, back to where we begun” sings Homme on the track. It’s a track that stands out from the rest and is definitely one of the highlights on the album
“Fortress” and “Villains of Circumstance” are two of Homme’s best, lyrically, to date. They’re considered the albums “lighter” tracks. Musically they shiftsthe tone album. “Fortress” a spacious track with a distorted riff that takes the background and puts Homme’s voice at the forefront. Ronson makes sure Homme’s heartfelt lyrics don’t get lost in the music. “If ever your fortress caves, you’re always safe in mine” sings Homme. The track showcases a lighter, heartfelt side, despite the track’s dark tones. While “Villains” provides a climactic end to the album. “Close your eyes and dream me home/Forever mine, I’ll be forever yours” sings Homme. The song is dream like with strings, echoing vocals and a slightly dirty guitar. With it’s heartbreaking lyrics, it will transport you in a dream state and leave wondering was running through Homme’s mind.
Villains stands to be one of the best rock albums this year with its dark, atmospheric tones, signature riffs, and catchy choruses it proves that Queens of the Stone Age are here to stay and that a little time off will do wonders for creativity and sound. Villains is the first Queens album to not feature any guest musicians. It’s the band alone and in doing so they deliver an album that’s as dark as it is joyous. Producer Mark Ronson makes sure the bands’ dark edge that made them famous is not lost in his dance like production on the album.
Villains is in stores now.