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Rated R

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  • 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