Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2002-08-22

On Songs for the Deaf, core Queens of the Stone Age members Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme, with the help of like-minded consorts Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan, balance pure guitar-induced carnage with more complex, though no less aggressive, speed rock that whips by so fast it creates its own breeze. The disc explodes with "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire", a toxic squall of power chords and now-classic Oliveri death howls. It's here the album's recurring concept/conceit is introduced, as a generic-sounding announcer from LA's "Clone" radio spits out some psychobabble reinforcing the tired if true cliché that commercial radio stinks. Similar mock broadcasts surface elsewhere, but they're easily forgivable, given the bounty on offer.

Homme-powered tracks dominate--the lurching, weirdly springy single "No One Knows" is a kind of "Monster Mash" for grown-ups; the vocal harmony-driven "The Sky Is Falling" is almost dreamy until a small army of guitars surge to the front lines to begin firing. And a lyrically winking hidden track, "Mosquito Song", is either an in-joke of ridiculous proportions or a declarative statement about the level of musicianship lurking just beneath the quaking veneer of the Queens' sound. Either way, genuine excitement comes early and often on Songs for the Deaf. It's a remarkable achievement--a hard rock record so good that it immediately evokes a conspiratorial fervour that makes you want to tell everyone you can about it. Er, job done. --Kim Hughes

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