Sept. 2002 - Exclaim: Songs for the Deaf Review
by Matt McMillan
Those Kyuss fans upset that QOTSA aren't simply rehashing Blues For The Red Sun with every new release will only be further distressed by their continuing flirtations with pop. Songs For The Deaf happily skips further down the pop path, so much so that one wag recently described one song as sounding "like fuckin' Stone Temple Pilots." It is true that they are expanding their exploration of the post-grunge pop sound toyed with on 2000's R. However Songs For The Deaf shares a lot with fellow Kyuss alumnus Brant Bjork's equally amazing and must-have Brant Bjork & The Operators. QOTSA continue to melp hypnotic Krautrock thrum of bands like Can, the new wave rigidity of Devo and Gary Newman [sic], and the mammoth riffs and grooves of Kyuss with an uncanny ear for pop hooks. Unlike Brant, QOTSA masterminds Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri actually recorded with other muscians. Through the Desert Sessions, and various other collaborations, they've developed a community of like-minded ecletophiles with whom to conspire. When asked if the high turnover of band-mates was because Josh is a hard man to work with, collaborator Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) chuckled before responding, "No, he isn't. His whole thing, and with Nick as well, is they just like having different people around to play off of. I think it keeps them interested in it, really. And I think it just makes it fun for them." On Songs For The Deaf, they're joined by such mega-ringers as Dean Ween (Ween) and Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), who has described Songs.... as "the best rock record I've heard in like ten years. It's nuts" It is nuts, and Grohl's trademarked skin pounding is an explosive release after the intensionally claustrophobic drum sound on R. An eclectic stew of hook-laden stompers, clever, yet catchy, melodies and contrary arrangements, Songs For The Deaf may just work and Ernest Angely or Benny Hinn on the unhearing lugs of the "sheeple."

Huge thanks to RLKyuss for typing this up!

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