If you think “Corporate” and “rock” are two words that should never go together, then you should thank God for Queens of the Stone Age, one of the few bands keeping rock interesting. Although their first two albums were both terrific, this one is the culmination of all QOTSA have done in the past. Indeed, “Songs for the Deaf” seems to be a combination of the riff-heavy stoner metal of the debut and the eclectic, experimental approach of “Rated R.” The result: an album chock full of twisted guitars, trippy vocals, and eccentric song structures, sure to please even the most discriminating rock fan.The album fires out of the gate with the roaring “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire,” which gives me an uncontrollable urge to turn my car into a one-man mosh pit. From there, the goods come quickly, as the first five songs are all no less than terrific. “No One Knows” and “A song for the Dead” boast two of the most likeably wacky time signatures in recent rock memory. Much publicized addition Dave Grohl gets to show off his drum chops on the hard-driving “First it Giveth,” while “The Sky is Fallin’” combines a heavy riff and laid-back vocals to great effect. Later, “Go With The Flow” introduces a pounding piano beat into the mix, and the result is just spectacularly infectious. “Do It Again” and “God is in the Radio,” meanwhile, boast grooves so deep you could fall into them. I know I’ve mentioned just about every song by now, but they’re all just so damn good it’s hard to single any out. The guitars are great, and the bands multi-vocalist approach gives you a variety of sounds to chew on.Now this isn’t pop, and if you’re the kind of person who forms an opinion about a song within one minute of the first listen, “Songs for the Deaf” might not be for you. But with a little close listening, it’s pretty easy to settle into a groove. “Songs for the Deaf” is one of those rare rock albums that actually get better with time, and manage to hold your attention all the way through.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Wow – A truely great release from The Queens of the Stone Age. After dropping all our jaws with 2000’s Rated R. the boys step it up a few more notches with Songs For The Deaf. The entire record simply rocks. From the sheer rock muscle of tunes like Millionaire and Six Shooter, to, dare I say pop fare like the great, No One Knows. The whole album works together to really just give a kick the pants to today’s bland rock music polluting the air.this time out they have brought aboard Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and a little known drummer named Dave Grohl. Each adds depth and focus to an already near perfect effort.Other highlights for me include the amazing Sky Is Fallin’ , the strangely sweet Mosquito Song and the dark, Song For The Deaf. I am extremely pleased with what Josh and Co. have achieved on their latest. Far surpasses all expectations
…points?!Man oh man. I’m driving down Route 21, ripping along, and Queens of the StAge are playing. “Song for the Dead” comes on and there’s this wicked riff, truly the musical embodiment of an evil grin, at about a minute-ten left. Chunky, salty, grinding, and I’m really into the pounding sound. Crash fade.Three seconds later, THEY PLAY IT AGAIN. The best riff on the song, and they do it again, rip it up, and let you have it.Oh man, that’s a band that delivers the goods. See, I’m a sucker for good formulas well executed. The interstitials of a guy pretending to tune in “Queens” songs and DJ talk-ups, I dig. I’m a huge Slayer fan, but “Six Shooter” is the best death metal song of 2002. I get it, I really do.Haven’t enjoyed something this thoroughly, through all the tracks of an album, since Kilgore released “Search for Reason”. Sure, there’s fourteen distinct tracks on here, and not every one is a balls-out rocker, but each song deserves headphones and some uninterrupted attention… unless you’re driving down Route 21.Then all ya need is track four. And play it baby, play it.
Queens of the Stone Age might be the best rock band active today. “Songs For the Deaf,” the group’s third album, is their finest to date. That in and of itself is no small feat, as both of Queens’ previous efforts were excellent in their own right. Dave Grohl (former Nirvana drummer, now Foo Fighters singer) plays drums on “Songs…,” and his presence is most definitely felt. Homme and Oliveri, meanwhile, pieced together a record that works beginning to end. “No One Knows” is the first single. The song is very unconventional underneath, with a guitar riff generally foreign to this genre, but rocks nevertheless. “First it Giveth” and “Go With the Flow” combine mainstream rock sensibilities with a powerful, live-sounding production. The overall song-writing quality here is phenomenal. “The Sky is Fallin,” “Hangin’ Tree,” (from Desert Sessions 7/8), “Do It Again,” and “Another Love Song” are all remarkable. Production is also very true to Queen’s sound (I’ve seen them live). The end result is an album which in some ways reminds me of “In Utero,” by Nirvana, not so much for its style, but its substance. Anyone who likes rock music, be it Staind, the Vines, Linkin Park or Nickelback, should buy “Songs for the Deaf.” It may wind up being as essential as “Daydream Nation,” “In Utero,” and “OK Computer.” At the very least, its among the best of 2002…
Ah, a day in the life of FM rock radio — as FM rock radio should be…
Queens of the Stone Age are a blessing of modern rock and roll, a group who doesn’t succumb and conform to all the bland trends found so prominently in today’s music. The first DJ on the album’s car radio announces another day of boring FM rock, when suddenly, from nowhere, Queens of the Stone Age blast into a screaming rage that is more Mariyln Manson than Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters’ sound is promptly more evident on the next hit song, “No One Knows.” And so this diverse album plays out: As the radio dial turns and various DJ’s speak up, so springs forth an eclectic choice of music from one band — all on one unique CD.
Queens of the Stone Age possess an extremely tight-knit sound that mixes melody with thrash at free will. The guitars often come in spurts, and meanwhile, guest drummer Dave Grohl clicks away on drums with abandon and precision. The cryptic guitars and eerie vibe to songs like “Song for the Deaf,” “Hangin’ Tree,” “First it Giveth,” “Song for the Dead” and “The Sky is Fallin’” all hearken back to a heavy metal age when bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden ruled, not that these guys sound like those bands by a longshot; it’s just that Queens of the Stone Age has an aura to its sound reminiscent to where bands like Maiden and Sabbath came from.
Power pop rock also makes a huge appearance on “Songs for the Deaf,” a la bands such as the Foo Fighters and Pixies: “Go With the Flow,” “Gonna Leave You” and “Do it Again” are all potential modern rock hits on the radio. Simply put, this is the type of band kids in high school get excited about. At times speed metal, at times heavy pop, at times dark metal, Queens of the Stone Age can’t be pinned down to any one sound. The last great tune, “Mosquito Song,” is even driven by a Spanish guitar sound that turns operatic, a perfect closing tune for a perfect album — during one day of perfect FM radio. Similarly, “Another Love Song” has a Spanish flair to it, once more displaying the broad range of this band’s musical tastes, and its willingness to expand on those tastes.
The interspersed DJs on “Songs for the Deaf” are as diverse as the music, representing a time when rock on FM radio was also more varied. The first DJ pleads, “I need a SAGA, gimmee a SAGA.” Well, this album is definitely the saga he seeks. It’s a blistering synergy of music that is original, fresh, fun and untouchable.