Orion’s music reviews Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
July 7, 2007
Josh Homme, the lead singer and driving force behind this band, is without a doubt a talented musician. But as this album proves, you can have too much of a good thing. As most Queens of the Stone Age albums go, there is a definite sound to this one. The sound in question on this album would be considered by most to be a more straightforward rock sound that the band has kind of abandoned as of late. This album most resembles their earlier work, like "Rated R" and "Songs For the Deaf." If you haven’t heard either of these, just imagine heavy grinding rock akin to Urge Overkill or, to a lesser extent, Black Sabbath. They have been making more epic gloomy records lately, but this album shows that they are still one of the best rock bands around.
Each song has almost the same exact feel to it, unfortunately. For the most part they all have the same crushingly loud guitar riffs and the drums to match. This is not to say there are a lot of guitar solos; they have never really been about that kind of thing. Which leads to another kind of interesting aspect of this band — they rarely have any anthems. The Queens of the Stone Age sound as if they are a rock band, but always have enough idiosyncrasies to remain out of the popular music scene. There is one song that bucks the trend of the album. It’s a song entitled, "Make It Wit Chu," and it sounds just like its title implies. Featuring a slinky groove reminiscent of 70’s funk, it is placed at precisely the right spot on the album to break up the slightly monotonous vibe. As with most of his work, Homme has a great knack for songwriting. His lyrics have just enough bite, but they don’t get too dark. This is probably the best rock album released this year.