Queens Of The Stone Age: Lullabies To Paralyze
I first heard Queens Of The Stone Age (right, that's becoming 'QOTSA' for a start! Razz Laughing) on the first Kerrang album back in 2001, and then a few months later on another metal compilation album (Supercharged). The tracks were Last Great Hit Of The Summer and The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret. Both were absolute punk classics that - especially the former, a brilliant lil' ditty about drugs - have remained so in my heart since the first time I heard them.
Rather like Marmite and WKD's, QOTSA are an aquired taste I feel. They have an unusal sound, a mix of the 60's rock of The Killers, 60's punk, and more modern pop sounds. They've all been mixed together perfectly on this album, released just last month and eagerly snapped up by me last week after hearing Little Sister on the 'Net. Smile
Ask any QOTSA fan which is the best album and 99% I imagine would say 2001's Songs For The Deaf (which I also have and will review at a later date). It was a true punk classic that broke many moulds of pop-punk boundaries and had a ragingly good, loud time doing it!
Quite alot of the tracks remind me of such new era punk gods like the Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays (it's always nice to plug Manchester bands ). That's one of the highest accolades a band can get, so if you're a fan of quirky punk, and even if you're not, give this album a go!
And on to the tracks..with a new track length feature added! 'Cos I'm good to yas like that! Laughing
1. This Lullaby (1:22) - What an odd/good start! This is basically a short track with a guy (not the lead singer) singing a lullaby on top of a calm acoustic melody. It's a good relaxing song! Laughing - 8/10
2. Medication (1:54) - Whoo! What a blast! Thumping guitars from about the 3rd second to the end! Real 60's punk feel to it with a cool reverbirating voice effect throughout. Dat good mosh! - 9/10
3. Everybody Knows That You're Insane (4:13) - While it may start off sounding like a goth/folk music hybrid, it certainly improves. Smile Around the 1 minute mark it suddenly turns into a Medication-esque all-out mosh fest! Laughing There's a hint of The Killers in the guitar usage too. - 8/10
4. Tangled Up In Plaid (4:12) - After a creepy keyboard start, the almost marching guitar beat kicks in and so begins some high-pitched quirky stuff. The beat sure is catchy though! - 8/10
5. Burn The Witch (3:34) - Once again lead singer Joshua Homme steps out of the spot light to do the backing 'whispering' to this track. It's a slightly jolly, poppy affair, but maintains the quirky edge and great guitar playing that makes QOTSA so great. My only complaint is the song does get slightly repetetive Smile - 7/10
6. In My Head (4:00) - This song may as well throw off its clothes, dip itself in sticky honey and slap 'The Killers' on it's chest in alphabet soup letters. Laughing Well, perhaps it's not that much of a genre-clash, but it does remind of them a bit. More great guitar over a slightlypop-rock mix of a general mood. Good stuff, but like the previous track, can get slightly repetitive. - 7/10
7. Little Sister (2:53) - The song that single-handedly got me interested in QOTSA again and got me to buy this album. It's a punk classic, simple as that. It's varied, it's got a poppy mood in it, and it's got a nice rock-out chorus. In the style of the jazz man in Fast Show - "Nnnnice!" - 9/10
8. I Never Came (4:47) - This song seems a bit like a punk version of Feeder really. It's mostly clam as heck, then breaks out in a louder, high-pitched section at the end. Not quite up to the standard of most Feeder tracks though sadly - 7/10
9. Someone's In The Wolf (7:14) - Oooh er! Laughing The longest track on the album (and one of the longest I've heard! ) is actually blinkin' good mosh! Gothic voices preside throughout, making the song rather creepy, especially during the near-silent part that starts around the 4:45 mark. Just when you're ready to turn the song off though, *BANG!* You get hit by a mighty wave of hard rock again on the 6:20 mark that takes you home to the end of the track! Laughing - 9/10
10. The Blood Is Love (6:36) - Another haunting, guitar-powered track but sadly didn't keep my interest for that long - 6/10
11. Skin On Skin (3:41) - A grooovy rockin' guitar backing track (not a bass in sight!) certainly spices things up here! But again, the song is slightly 'samey' - 7/10
12. Broken Box (3:01) - The pop, happy-clappy (literally! Laughing) feel of this song feels somewhat out of place on a QOTSA album. Smile But the great metal guitar work once again saves things. Ooh, and some of the lyrics are a bit, erm..risque too.. Laughing - 7/10
13. "You've Got A Killer Scene There, Man" (4:55) - A low-beat, slow tune presides throughout this track. It's certainly different to the usual thumping guitars on just about every track so far on the album. Smile It is catchy though! - 7/10
14. Long Slow Goodbye (6:49) - The song says it all; a long, slow song! Laughing Drags on slightly towards the end, but on the whole there's another good beat to it. - 7/10
15. Like A Drug (3:15) - Probably my least fave. song on the album, it contains QOTSA's occasional, odd jazz fetish. It's not awful, but it's certainly not their best - 6/10
16. Precious And Grace (3:22) - Stuttering metal guitar feel reminds you instantly of Rage Against The Machine. The singer reminds me next of Lenny Kravitz. I'm not a huge fan of real old school metal (Metallica and co.), that this song does sound a bit like, but it stays just fresh and modern enough to rise above the 80's metal durge.
Well, there ya have it! I can safely say it's not as good as the Songs For The Deaf album, but then that was always gonna be an extremely hard act to follow. Even so, Lullabies To Paralyze has some classic tunes that just have to be heard (Little Sister, Medication, This Lullaby and Someone's In The Wolf particularly stand out).
Expect more QOTSA album reviews soon! Smile
Still waiting for the Manchester Evening News to employ him.
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