Just in time for the new millennium came the second album by Queens Of The Stone Age. Being a reputable band as they are, this release is now seen as a classic in the Stoner Rock genre. Let’s see if it still holds up to be so today.
First, we begin with Feel Good Hit Of The Summer which begins with a dirty bass riff, and a huge amount of drug references. Before long, the rest of the band joins in and we have an excellent piece of music. The guitar solo is really weird and hectic. The drug references are chanted throughout, and this is an interesting listen. Not something to play to your family, but a great song regardless.
We follow straight into The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret which has some quirky melodies about it, including great guitar riffs and what sounds like a xylophone. The chorus is very uplifting, although the sludgy Rock riffs make this come alive. This is a beautiful and wonderful Stoner Rock piece. “Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone,” is chanted here. The guitar solo is really odd sounding, but this is a great song. Good to hear something quality and different.
Leg Of Lamb begins with some good drum beats, before going into a weird and wonderful tune that sounds really different. The lyrics are rather random and semi-surreal in nature. The whole piece is excellent, yet sounds pretty weird. The chorus has some watery sound effects in it. Another great song, with an odd guitar solo at the end.
Auto Pilot comes next, with a spacey keyboard intro, before going into a really excellent Rock jam. This, once again, has a load of drug references in it. The chorus, in particular, refers to it, in amongst the clanging instrumentation here. This is an excellent recording to get smashed to. Halfway through are some digitized vocals and strummed acoustic guitar, before launching straight back into the song. Brilliant. A great listening experience.
Next is Better Living Through Chemistry which is a Fatboy Slim reference. It begins with rolling bongo beats, and some dirty guitar riffing. The singing sounds impressive here, and this is a good song. It is longer than previous songs, at nearly six minutes in length. After a couple of minutes, it goes into a loud, sustained sort of part, before the guitars kick right in again. This sounds glorious and is excellent listening. It gradually goes into a harmony based vocal-led part, before guitars and drums return again to surprise you. There is a multitude of excellent musical sections here. Some ghostly singing returns before the song ends.
Following is Monsters In The Parasol which begins with a great rhythmic beat and loud guitars. It is an interesting listen and is yet another great song from this album. This is an excellent and catchy number, and the interaction between the instruments is fantastic. Another great song by Queens Of The Stone Age. Catchy and good listening, particularly guitar-wise.
Quick And To The Pointless is next. It has a weird intro, before launching into an out-there musical listen. Some awesome screaming is here as well. It is really weird to hear but fortunately is a short listening experience. Definitely odd.
In The Fade/Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (Reprise) which begins with a prolonged sound effect based intro. Random sort of lyrics enters before this song kicks off with some awesome drop-tuned guitars. This is fine musicianship from Queens Of The Stone Age and sounds really wonderful. It is almost quite like Grunge here, except without the pessimism. A glorious listen, this is a fine piece of music. Towards the end is a good Rock style jam, before it finishes off with a reprise of the first song for a very short time. Excellent.
Next is Tension Head which begins with the sound of a cigarette or (more likely) joint being lit, before going straight into another excellent piece of music. Some insane screaming is here, and this whole piece is very full-on. Another great song from this great album. The second half in particular is interesting listening. It sounds really intense and ends with a crash.
Following is Lightning Song which is top, with some excellent acoustic guitar and beats in the intro, along with a piano. This is really great stuff and is a top example of a good instrumental. It just flows nicely and is a reassuring listen. Another great piece from this album. Nice to hear.
I Think I Lost My Headache is by far the longest song here, at over eight minutes long. It begins with some heavy Metal style Grungy guitars, before going straight into a Stoner Rock jam with vocals which are really quite good. This song is another top listen with reoccurring guitar riffs that are awesome. This whole piece is done perfectly and would be something that Black Sabbath would be proud of. After a while, there is a tempo change, and the group go into a full-on jam section. Some awesome drum fills are here, and this whole thing sounds marvellous. Some saxophone and trumpets eventually lead this piece in the second half of this extended track. This Jazz sort of extended piece goes on for a little bit but is good to hear anyway. Think King Crimson, and you are kind of there.
This is a top album that draws upon musical history to inspire and be inspired. It is a great album from start to finish and certainly is of great quality. Queens Of The Stone Age certainly knew what Rock music needed, and they show it here. Fans will want to check out the deluxe edition, with some extra tracks added for your enjoyment.