Queens of the Stone Age returns strong with the utmost consistency on their compelling, hard rocking new album, ‘Villains.’
Rock darlings Queens of the Stone Age are back with a new album, Villains. Villains arrives four years after the band scored a no. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with …Like Clockwork. All in all, Villains, produced by standout Mark Ronson, impresses from start to finish. Here are the top-5 songs from Villains.
No. 1: “The Way You Used to Do”
From the jump, “The Way You Used to Do” sounds venomous, sporting a menacing bite. The guitars are gritty, with the distortion amplified to the nth degree. A couple of seconds in and the hellishness is real. Adding to the diabolical tone is the hard-rocking groove, where the syncopation exhibits the sensibilities of urban music. Ultimately, the listeners are blessed with radiant, ungodly, ear candy. It’s not all Mephistopheles – love is a theme of the record. Homme compares his love to a person with a bad reputation – an arsonist. Charming. All in all, Queens of the Stone Age have a gem on their hands, combining the grit of rock and the fun, groove of vintage pop and soul.
No. 2: “Un-Reborn Again”
“Un-Reborn Again” is ambitious as it approaches seven minutes, but proves worthy of its length. The use of synths creates an enigmatic quality, and initially, a sense of unpredictability. The guitars stabilize any uncertainty, packing an elephantine punch. The combination of synths and guitars proves thrilling. You know what else is thrilling? The personality that Homme shows throughout “Un-Reborn Again,” particularly on the chorus.
No. 3: “Feet Don’t Fail Me”
Villains gets off to a mysterious start thanks to “Feet Don’t Fail Me.” For nearly two minutes, the record has an unsettled quality, percolating little by little. Once it reaches a boil, “Feet Don’t Fail Me” is scalding hot. The riffs are jagged and the drums pummeling. Additionally, frontman Josh Homme sings with the utmost conviction. From start to finish, the opener is intriguing, setting the tone for the album.
No. 4: “The Evil Has Landed”
“The Evil Has Landed” is ambitious in length, as well as its music. From the start, the intro sets a foreboding tone, foreshadowing the trip that is “The Evil Has Landed.” The guitars are ‘souped-up,’ characterized by a heavy, distorted tone. The guitar riffs have a bite, the drums pummel once more, undoubtedly anchoring the evil down. Vocally, Homme isn’t as evil as the instrumentation, providing a musical contrast with his more even-keel sound. A guitar solo, following the first bridge, marks one of the elite moments. The form of the record is a bit unpredictable, but keeps things fresh. Ultimately, this is a juggernaut.
No. 5: “Head Like a Haunted House”
The spirit kicks up a notch on “Head Like a Haunted House.” The pace, along with the hard drums are what instantly stands out about the song. Kinder, gentler Josh Homme is gone – he’s “kicking ass and taking names” here. The energy is irresistible – infectious, infectious, INFECTIOUS.
All said and done, the villainy of Villains is awesome. So, what if the sound is hellish – it’s hellishly great! Queens of the Stone have done it again, delivering another fine rock album. All nine of the songs prove to be worthwhile listens.
Gems: “Feet Don’t Fail Me,” “The Way You Used to Do,” “Un-Reborn Again” & “The Evil Has Landed”