August 2002 - InternetEd: Songs for the Deaf Review
by staff
Two years after the last Queens Of The Stone Age record, Rated R, the band has returned with Songs For The Deaf, a very inventive hard rock record. In this time period the band seems to have improved immensely, not that they were bad before. For one thing, these stoner rockers sound musically tighter than ever before, and also the lyrics and vocals flow much better on this release than on any of their prior work. As usual, the production pushes the thick guitars and rhythm instruments to a low-end buzz, while the mostly soft-sung vocals stand in brilliant contrast to the roaring music beneath. Songs For The Deaf may not appeal to all hard rock fans, but stoner rock aficionados and grunge enthusiasts will find plenty of ear candy on this monster of a disc.

The drowned-out sound that kicks off “You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire” explodes suddenly with screams and a wall of thick guitars to make for a dynamic intro track. On “No One Knows” the band effectively uses their trademark semi-bluesy stoner rock sound, while “First It Giveth” blends surprisingly melodic soft vocals with gritty and distorted background music. The crushing “The Sky Is Fallin'” is a great stoner metal tune with a choppy rhythm, and the phantasmagoric “Hangin' Tree” is an ingenious addition to Songs For The Deaf. Grungy guitars and syrupy vocals blend perfectly in “Gonna Leave You,” while the quirky “Another Love Song” sounds detached in a very cold and calculated way. The almost-title track, “Song For The Deaf” is full of strange chords, stoner grooves, and hazy vocal harmonies, and “Mosquito Song,” the hidden album closer, is a bizarre acoustic number. All in all, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Songs For The Deaf is an impressive album featuring both the calm (vocals) and the storm (music), both of which are lit up by flashes of stoner rock experimentation.

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