Overall Score: 8/10 songs: 8/10 replay value: 8/10 lyrics: 9/10 Pros: An upbeat fun return to form for one of rocks most iconic bands Cons: very little
Queens of the Stone Age are one of the most iconic rock bands of the last 30 years. Kicking the door in with a bad attitude and the songs to back it up. They exploded and came very close to taking over the world. For a magical moment they were the life and soul of the party. Over the years though the edges were polished and the bad boys turned into reflective elder statesmen. Their musical output then became more akin to coming down from a party, rather than the party itself.
Their last two albums 2013’s …Like Clockwork and 2017’s Villains showed a band that had been embraced by the mainstream and now seemed to have more in common with The 1975 & Arctic Monkeys than their more Rock & Alt based peers. For some it was a welcome change, for many others it was a drastic and unwelcome departure.
Here we are then, on the eve of their latest album In Times New Roman, we are left wondering if there is still some of the old magic left in the lamp. The answer reassuringly is a resounding yes. This is the quirkiest, most uplifting and outlandish Queens of the Stone Age has sounded in well over a decade.
Obscenery slithers in on the back of a grinding guitar and shrieking strings, it’s a bone rattling statement of intent. Paper Machete & Negative Space revisit garage rock, the latter in particular has a giant stomping groove to it.
Time & Place has an angular post punk edge to it, punctuated by a sublime falsetto croon by Josh Homme. It’s an irresistible moment of pop sunshine peeking through the album. Carnavoyuer harks back to the band’s Era Vulgaris run. What the Peephole Say is not only brilliantly titled, but it’s a swaggering behemoth that has kicked your front door in, done 3 shots and is now taking over the dancefloor.
Sicily brings the mood down ever so slightly. It’s brooding and introspective, sounding like Bowie as his most contemplative and arty. Straight Jacket Fitting is almost the opposite, a nine minute long opus that gives the listener a labyrinthine epilogue to the album, leaving you with a lot to chew on as the album closes out, its a bold way to end things.
In Times New Roman is the sound of Queens of the Stone Age finding a new groove. Taking all of the best elements that have led them to this point. This is the musical equivalent of a long hard look in the mirror and realising that maybe there is a light at the end of tunnel.This could very well become to some the definitive Queens of the Stone Age album, for others it could be the rebirth of a band that they may have long lost touch with. One thing is certain and that is with this record they have delivered the feel good album of the summer.
In Times New Roman available now with physical copies available via the band’s online store