Aug. 22, 2002 - The Stranger: Songs for the Deaf Review
by Jennifer Maerz
Jesus Christ. Finally the Queens of the Stone Age are releasing their follow up to 2000's R, and it sounds so goddamn good fans of the band are gonna wet themselves around the world. While R was a decent slab of desert-dusted rock, Songs for the Deaf just kills. The record doesn't rely on gimmicks like the singsong narcotics laundry list that was "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (a great song, but one that wore its tricks on its sleeve); instead, the band works the tried-and-true angle of making intelligent, heavy rock that packs meaning into melody. The guitar riffs barrel forward like a semi grinding into fifth, and songs move from a low rumble to a full-speed chase ("Six Shooter" is a rabid punk tune foaming at the mouth). Tracks like "Hangin' Tree" show that the band's secret weapon is not guest drummer Dave Grohl but guest singer Mark Lanegan, whose smoky, sultry crooning adds a thick layer of velvet to the Queens' rough edges. Not that founding members Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme lack skills, either--as the Queens' most recent show at Graceland (written up in the new issue of Blender) proved, the quality of the music created by this band was well worth the wait.

Four stars

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