June 23, 2000 - City Search: Rated R review
by Partick Donovan
The way the music industry is these days, bands such as the Beatles, Stones and Pink Floyd who, at their prime mixed country, blues, pop, rock and psychedelia, may struggle to get signed. "Too diverse, too many demographics, marketing department can't cope'", the execs may say. Fortunately, Queens Of The Stone Age have ignored trends and produced a genre-defying album that is hailed by some as the most anticipated underground work since Nirvana's Nevermind. The Californian stoner-rock pioneers move beyond the heavy riffage with an incredibly diverse and detailed album that traverses punk rock, sinister pop, giddying psychedelia and damaged ballads. The opening punch of Feel Good Hit Of The Summer is misleading. Judas Priest's Rob Halford and singer-guitarist Josh Homme sound like an evil Plastic Bertrand singing the lyrics: "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol ... C-c-c-c- cocaine". But songs such as The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret are refined pop treasures, a bit like the Butthole Surfers' attempt at mainstream success, Pepper. Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan takes lead vocal on the least ambitious song (and best chance of a hit) In The Fade, but bassist Nick Oliveri throws the album back into turmoil with his punk Ballroom Blitz-esque Quick And To The Pointless before ending with sprawling brass on the Zappa- influenced I Think I Lost My Headache. The heavy rock genre hasn't produced such a quality album with so many musical and emotional twists for years. And with the new spate of derivative rap-metal, skate-punk clones, it has never needed it so badly.

go back
main songs and releases the band tour history articles and gallery qotsa online