Aug. 2000 - CMJ: Rated R Review
by Lorne Behrman
Out: June 6 File Under: Stoners with too much Free time
R.I.Y.L. : The Makers, David Bowie, Kyuss

In 1998, after a brief stint as a Screaming Tree, Josh Homme, former guitarist/songwriter for stoner rock's desert-tripping champs, Kyuss, returned with Queens Of The Stone Age. Unlike his old band, the Queen's debut exuded a fresh, drugged-out intensity that didn't rely on mud-dipped reworks of Sabbath and Zeppelin riffs. Its rugged grooves and hypnotically poppy vamps supplied bong metal with a radio-friendly vocabulary that didn't sacrifice any bloodshot, psychedelic expansiveness. With the band's sophmore effort , Homme has taken things two steps forward and two steps back. The album opens with the table pounding chant, "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ectasy and alcohol," and ends in an eight-minute descent into Kyuss-like lysergic heft in "I Think I Lost My Headache." Between these two points, be ready for everything and anything (somewhere low in the mix is Judas Preist's Rob Halford!), "Quick And To The Pointless" is a bratty Motels-styled new wave, complete with cheerleader cheering and handclaps. "Auto Pilot" is minor-but-catchy Beatles pop with David Bowie's "Major Tom" as its musical motif during the moony acoustic bridge. But besides the beautiful built-around-the-bass trance ballad "In The Fade," with Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan guesting on vocals, R just feels like a collection of sketches. A what-should-we-do-now?/Let's-try everything statement from a band that had it right the first time.

issue no. 84

Thanks to Jay Kloosterman for typing this up!

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