In 1998, Josh Homme introduced us to Queens Of The Stone Age. The band’s self-titled debut was quite the introduction, displaying a soon-to-be trademark sound, drawn up, rough on the edges. A genre Homme dubs ‘robotic rock’, the driving, repetitive riffs now go hand in hand with the group’s identity. But to whom should this identity really be attributed? Since the band’s inception, the line-up hasn’t so much changed as fluctuated between originals, guests and newbs, Homme being the sole original member. So is this to say he is QOTSA?
Over the course of the band’s existence, their popularity has grown, their records garnering further and further critical acclaim, partly due to their ability to adopt, adapt and… well improve doesn’t seem fit in this case. Homme’s openness to experimentation, his willingness to always bring something new to the table, does not take away from what QOTSA’s self-titled debut was, and still is. How can you improve on something that was already spot on first time around?
Remastered, the record sounds fresh, still relevant after all this time. The recent trend of heavy-riff rock bands, as seen with the Dead Weather and These Crooked Vultures (a project Homme is part of), only goes to show that this blueprint, this style of heavy alt rock will never fade away; there’s always room for a loud, straight up, no nonsense guitar album. Phew. ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’ thunders in all its glory, with the added bonus of three extra tracks, thoughtfully slotted in with the original bits, and not just thrown on at the end. ‘The Bronze’, ‘These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For’ and ‘Spiders And Vinegaroons’ all feature deservedly, making for a justified buy, assuming you already own this iconic record. And if you don’t, well it’s high time you remedied yourself.
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