2002/08/xx - Pulse!: Songs for the Deaf Review
by Jon Wiederhorn
Arising from the ashes of the revolutionary stoner metal band Kyuss, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri formed the more musical outfit Queens of the Stone Age. The band's first record was surprisingly melodic yet heavier than a bathtub of concrete. On its follow-up, R, Queens sacrificed aggression for droning, atmospheric exploration, sounding more like Krautrockers Neu! than Black Sabbath. Songs for the Deaf combines the best elements of both earlier albums into a batch of unrepentantly rockin' songs that are stylistically diverse and texturally compelling. The album is loosely strung together by short sketches about the sorry state of modern rock radio, but it's cohesive enough without the amusing DJ commentary. The beats slam and the rhythms are tighter than clenched teeth thanks to Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who plays drums on the disc. And props go to vocalist Mark Lanegan, whose woozy vocals grace four of the songs. But it's Homme and Oliveri who win the Golden Mushroom award for writing an innovative album full of vision, creativity and near universal appeal.

5 out of 5 stars

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