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Rated R

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Queens of the Stone Age Biography - Queens of the Stone Age Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands


Japanese edition of this hotly tipped hard rock outfit from west coast, featuring the bonus track ’I Think I Lost My Headache. NME has hailed them as the new Nirvana. This Japanese pressing adds a b-side from their latest UK single, ’Ode To Clarissa’. 12 tracks in all. 2000 release. Standard jewel case. Call it ”stoner rock” if you must, but the sophomore release from the Queens of the Stone Age moves mosh music into a woozier realm. Which isn’t to say it isn’t plenty crunchy, but former Kyuss kingpin Josh Homme and company (including guests Mark Lanegan and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees) create an intoxicating brew by mixing metal, alt, and garage-rock elements together and making it smoke! –Steven StolderTrippy, forceful, and timeless, Rated R is rife with heavy, heady, trance-inducing post-hippie creations that recall Soundgarden and Fu Manchu. Singer/guitarist Josh Homme, founder of the defunct but much-worshipped ”stoner-rock” band Kyuss, heads the group. And while he’s joined by guests such as Mark Lanegan and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees, it’s the oddball songs rendered by Homme’s sexy voice and searing guitars that make this album sing. Kudos too, to the producer Chris Goss, formerly of another remarkable band, Masters of Reality. The Bowie-like surrealism of ”Auto Pilot” makes it this set’s classic; in fact, much of Rated R presents dark, Cocteau-like idiosyncrasies, often aided by touches of surprising humor. In the tongue-in-cheek-titled ”The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer,” the line ”Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy, and alcohol” is repeated like a mantra, while ”Better Living Through Chemistry,” is steeped in hallucinogenic sounds. The frenetic ”Monsters in the Parasol” is sonically rich, its primal riffing best ingested loud and via headphones, while ”Quick and to the Pointless,” boasts a raucous MC5/Blue Cheer vibe. This wondrous sophomore effort defies all categorization, except cool. –Katherine Turman

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  • “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” leads off “Rated R” with a crazy, decadent vibe, but the album doesn’t remain at such a chaotic pace. Queens of the Stone Age have everything in their songwriting repetoire: The band’s music caters to the thinking man, the party goer, the rockers, people with a sense of quirkiness, and mainstream audiences who just like good, melodic rock and roll — with a twist of weirdness thrown in.

    “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret” is instantly likable, and it’s the song that got me into this awesome band. Many of the other tunes on “Rated R” share the same low-key, melodic vibe of “Lost Art…”, which makes for a great listening experience. Vocals on this album are shared, giving it a more eclectic feel than the classic-rock sound of Queens of the Stone Age’s debut album, another excellent CD. Also, unlike the darker first album, “Rated R” has a brighter sound, and in some cases a more pop/rock feel, which caters to a wider audience. Various musicians, including the great Mark Lanegan (see Whiskey for the Holy Ghost), contribute to “Rated R”, and the results are great.

    Perhaps “Rated R’s” most interesting — and best — tune is “Better Living Through Chemistry.” It begins foreboding enough, with Josh Homme’s distant, echoey vocals and a dark guitar riff. Paranoid lyrics give way to a quiet lull, before a Zeppelin/Sabbath riff kicks in unexpectantly. The song is disjointed and a little strange, but perfectly sums up this band and its love of experimentation (on many levels!).

    Many of these lyrics are obviously influenced by drugs, all of them very rock and roll in their intent. It sounds like the band had a good time making “Rated R.” “In the Fade,” sung by Mark Lanegan, is a tune that should have made its way straight to modern-rock radio playlists all over the country — the song has “hit” written all over it. A slower, mellow tune with pleasantly vibrating guitars, “In the Fade” is another great musical moment for this band, and showcases its versatility as musicians and varying musical tastes. “Tension Head” is pure hard rock, with an aggressive riff and raging vocals by bassist Nick Oliveria. By contrast, “Lightning Song” is a pleasant guitar instrumental that just kind of floats for two minutes, making way for the last Sabbath-influenced song, “I Think I Lost My Headache.”

    Overall, “Rated R” is less straightforward than the first album, less ambitious than the third album (see Songs for the Deaf), and full of more interesting sounds and great tunes by one of the best bands ever.

    Posted on November 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Yes, this is, without a doubt the best QOTSA album. Breaking away from the previous album which was quite boring ( almost every song sounds the same ) , Rated R has an unique appeal to it. Starting off with “Feel good hit of the summer” and it’s simple but heart felt message (someone that spends 2m43s singing “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol, c-c-c-c-c-cocaine” really likes it!!), passing through great songs like “Monsters in the parasol”, “Leg of lamb”, “Auto pilot” and so on, you get a sense that although the core of the band lies in Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, QOTSA is nothing but a bunch of friends gathered around to play great music and share experiences and sensibilities. Unlike “Songs for the deaf” and it’s visceral appeal, “Rated R” has more of hallucinogenic side to it and that makes it a great trip. Excellent record, worthy of every cent. A must have and a must hear, over and over. And then again.

    Posted on November 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I have listened to Rated R repeatedly just hoping I could learn to love it as much as the first one. But, I’m left with mixed feelings about this album. Most of the album I just can’t get enough of. It’s a very good album. The band is very experimental in nature. That is one of the things that makes this band great. But, I think there’s just a little too much of that on this album. Sure, it’s interesting the first time but it quickly turns monotonous and irritating. Half of the album is excellent and definitely worth buying. That’s not my major gripe though. If you are a stoner rock fan or a Kyuss fan, you may find a major flaw in the album – it doesn’t rock. It has it’s moments, but if you compare this to Kyuss, Unida, or the first QOTSA, it sounds like stoner pop.

    Posted on November 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Eclectic, creative, and addictive, “Rated R” sees Queens of the Stone Age expanding on the riff-driven stoner rock found on their classic self-titled debut. Whereas their prior album found the band using grinding, repetitive riffs for the most part, with “Rated R” the band uses a much greater variety of sounds and song structures. “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” is fast and catchy ode to drug use, while the single “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret” places Josh Homme’s laid-back wail over a driving guitar riff. Other highlights include the trippy “Leg of Lamb,” the slow and atmosperic “Auto Pilot” and “In the Fade,” and the propulsive “Monsters in the Parasol” (how much pot did Homme smoke before he came up with that lyric?). The use of multiple singers is a plus, as Nick Oliveri’s gritty voice powers “Auto Pilot” and Mark Lanegan lends “In the Fade” its relaxed air. Throughout the album, QOTSA maintain the garage edge that characterizes stoner rock, without it sounding like it was tape-recorded in a garage. Like its predecessor, “Rated R” is a great album for cruising around with the windows open and the stereo blasting, or just sitting around mellowing out.

    Posted on November 30, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Although the latest Queens Of The Stone Age release Songs For The Deaf seems to be getting all the press these days, the previous album Rated R, in my opinion, ranks as their best release. And I hold Songs For The Deaf in pretty high regard, so that’s saying something. This album is way more experimental than your run-of-the-mill stoner rock. Pianos, horns, and electronic effects are pulled out for effect while Josh Homme digs deep into his bag of guitar riffs and comes up with a memorable, headbangable one for each track. The lyrics are typical QOTSA–ironic, intelligent, funny, and drug-induced. Most of the songs are kept short and to the point, and never lose their punch. And my, what diversity. Loud Olivieri screamers (Tension Head), straightahead yet left-of-center rock (Leg Of Lamb, Autopilot), a floaty little instrumental (Lightning Song), a brilliant number featuring Mark Lanegan on vocals (In The Fade), Sabbath-esque lumbering rock (I Think I Lost My Headache), and just all-out trippiness (Better Living Through Chemistry, Monsters In The Parasol), it’s amazing what this band can do with just a 42-minute run time. While there is one weak song (the aptly titled Quick And To The Pointless), it’s not enough to keep me from giving Rated R 5 stars. Whether you’re a QOTSA fan, a Kyuss fan, or just love alternative or stoner rock, this is one of the best-executed albums I’ve heard lately. Highly reccommended.

    Posted on November 29, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now