August 23, 2002 - The Guardian: Songs for the Deaf Review
by Dave Simpson
With last year's single, Feel Good Hit of the Summer, Queens of the Stone Age finally established themselves as the Nirvana-like California stoners it was impossible not to like. With this third album, though, their druggy self-mythologising has taken on a darker hue. Pills "stick in your mouth", and spoons come laden with blood. Even the romantic Hangin' Tree depicts doomed lovers "swaying in the breeze". God knows what has brought this on, but the misery has had a profound effect on their music, which has developed by looking back. Deaf reeks of the early 1970s, in particular early Black Sabbath and the haunted terrain of Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World. No One Knows has killer riffs to spare; The Sky is Fallin' sounds like the Beatles after 30 years in a mortuary. This is weirdly compulsive stuff - the feel-bad hit of the summer, presumably.

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