July 2002 - AP: Even the Deaf will Need Ear Plugs
by Matt Ryan
Witness the progression of genius. In an effort to distance himself from his previous band, desert-rock legends Kyuss, Josh Homme made the first Queens record an exercise in minimalism. The schizophrenic Rated R followed, wherin the band flexed their creative muscle like some sort of musical Hans and Franz. Now, on album number 3, The Queens collective apparently have yet another agenda: to rock like a motherfucker.

A darker, heavier, less self-conscious record than Rated R, Songs for the Deaf delivers a Fistful of bludgeoning hooks without sacrificing one ounce of integrity. After the brief, throbbing instrumental, "The Real Song For The Deaf," radio noise and a muted guitar are shattered by bassist Nick Oliveri's deranged shout announcing the bulldozing "Millionaire". The jaunty "No One Knows" follows, with Homme's mellow croon riding atop a punky riff that should turn Billie Joe Armstrong, uh, green with envy.

A new and invaluable addition to the Queens fold is Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, who's again given the chance to show why he's one of the best rock drummers in the buisness. On "Song for The Dead," Grohl pulls a rope a dope in the intro, dropping in some brainy fills before launching an attack that would have sent lesser bands running for cover. Elsewhere, ex-Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan makes a return appearance, lending his rich baritone to the progressive "Hangin' Tree" and the Doors-y "God." Throughout, Homme doesn't shy away from firing off some inspired soloing, occasionally recalling his Kyuss days. Make no mistake: Songs For the Deaf should be heard.

Huge thanks to Sean McEleny for typing this up!

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