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Villains - QOTSA


elmo
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So the new Queens of the Stone Age album is out on the 25th although there's the inevitable leak doing the rounds. As I'm sure a few of you are aware I'm a huge fan and I don't really know anyone else who is. Wanted to put some thoughts down somewhere and this is the only place I really feel I can so here goes.

 

1st Single

The Way You Used To Do

 

 

 

When I first heard this I wasn't sure. It seemed too simple. That riff just repeating. I didn't really get it but didn't dislike it. Since then it's become something of a massive tune for me. Every time I hear it my feet starts tapping and I'm singling the whole thing from start to finish. I'll get to the rest of the album in a bit but it kind of represents everything that Villains is about. At first you're kind of taken back by how different it sounds. QOTSA are known for changing their sound for every album, which is true but recently it's like they're a new band with every release. Era Vulgaris was insane when you think that it came after Lullabies to Paralyze. Like it was a prototype for something. Then came Like Clockwork that seemed more like a work of art than a rock album. This though, was weird. The new sound made it seem like rock music being played through a pop speaker.

 

Once you get on board with what they're clearly trying to do, this becomes an absolute classic. Proper sing along and a real grower.

 

2nd Single

The Evil Has Landed

 

 

 

Then came The Evil Has Landed. A more traditional QOTSA song but with a thinner film of what this new album is about wrapped around it. It reminds me a lot of The Fun Machine Took A Shit and Died in that it feels like it constantly evolves. Like they've stuck three songs together but the stitching is perfect. Then that end. It's a power house and unlike TWYUTD was an instant success for me.

 

That's a rare thing on Villains. After my first listen there were only three of the nine songs that stuck out as instant clicks. The most obvious one being the opening track Feet Don't Fail Me which is genuinely brilliant. Once again it a shabby repetitive riff that has been over produced to make it sound almost electronic. But the layers of guitars, thumping drums and snarling vocals blew my socks off from the first moment I heard it. Honestly, it makes me want to stick some headphones down, play it loud and stomp up and down the high street kicking a football into a different shop with every step.

 

That and Head Like A Haunted House were ones I was on board with from the get go. The others though, I wasn't too sure about. I'm not sure why. They seemed maybe a little too simple, not enough bite. But the more I listened the more the hooks sunk into the brain. I'd be going about my business but had one of these other songs in my head and would have to give it a listen so that I could get back to what I was doing.

 

There's some really sweet stuff in there, some incredibly well developed songs and overall although it's probably the most confusing QOTSA album to date (apart from Era, of course) it's really starting to come together to feel like a bit of a triumph. Like they've shed their skin again and this time become something more interesting than ever. It's as though they've dropped their past and done something they wanted to do for a long time.

 

Those of you that want to hear the QOTSA of old will no doubt be disappointed, but for the ones that have taken the journey through Era and Clockwork, I think you'll really like this.

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I'd hate to wake up and try to be as awesome as Josh is. Must be a royal pain in the arse to do it everyday without even trying. I thought bringing Ronson on board was a huge risk, bu the second track proves it was a very clever addition, and that I was completely wrong. Really interested to see what he does with Villains Of Circumstance as the close out track.

 

The 25th can't come soon enough, the blokes a genius and I'd point anyone in the direction of Post Pop Depression if they think otherwise. had a listen to Infinity earlier which is a quality song.

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I'm 43, the wife and the kids are in bed and Im getting a hard on for a new QotSA release....sat in the car listening to the cd. I mean, who still has CD players in their house in 2017? Joyous! The car is rocking as I groove by myself.

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Everything is electronic for me now. Has been that way for a few years. With only a few exceptions (for the car) albums are by online service subscription. A lifetime of Cd and vinyl in the loft...just in case. Not sure what apocalyptic just in case scenario I'm really waiting for though. I can't let go but I don't want them cluttering the house anymore.

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8 hours ago, Graham said:

Everything is electronic for me now. Has been that way for a few years. With only a few exceptions (for the car) albums are by online service subscription. A lifetime of Cd and vinyl in the loft...just in case. Not sure what apocalyptic just in case scenario I'm really waiting for though. I can't let go but I don't want them cluttering the house anymore.

 

Same but QOTSA innit.

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I've never really given his place amongst my own view of the greats any consideration...I'm not sure I will until the day comes he passes (if I outlive him), he certainly plays a mean guitar BUT I know that without his input my journey would have been very different. From Kyuss, Desert Sessions, EoDM, TCV, Queens and the many one offs, collaborations and guest appearances on guitar, vocally and in the production suite he has been an ever present in my own collection. My world would be a poorer place without him. 

 

So I've had the album on repeat for long enough now to draw conclusions - it's not the strongest release, it's definitely not their weakest release, despite sounding a little out there and broken initially it's catchy as hell. The songs that I first thought were weakest, have really grown on me to be favourites over the radio friendly two they introduced us to the album with (which are strong songs in their own right) - Domesticated Animals and Villains of Circumstance stand out particularly. The rest of the weekend on repeat then (my wife will be so bored of it by the start of next week, she already groans whenever I make any mention to QotSA / Homme).

 

I realise it's subjective but I'm going there (in order of preference):

- Self Titled (the sleazy riffs and crunchy guitars aligned with my stoner attitude at the time to cement it as one of my own musical journey highlights)

- Songs for the Deaf / Rated R (can't call these two)

- Villains

- Like Clockwork

- Lullabies to Paralyze

- Era Vulgaris

 

And I'll leave you with one of his more simplistic collaborations with Peaches - the crunch is aural delight, the riff so clean. Adore it.

 

 

 

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Had a brief listen in the car but I was too pissy to take it on board what with it just being a fucking ordeal to aquire it. The hooks aren't quite in yet but I'm sure they will be.

 

Anyway, Homme is the gift that keeps on giving, from some obscure soundtrack he did:

 

 

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I've only listened to the lead single of this, so can't comment on the album, but that song didn't grab me straight away. I can imagine it might well grow on me, only for one thing; I hated the production. The mix is completely lacking in bottom end. It sounds like it was mixed for phone speakers, which given mark ronson's involvement, it probably was.

 

I really hope the rest of the album isn't like that. I'll be buying it on the way home from work, either way.

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Man. The hate for Mark Ronson is an interesting one.

 

i mean you may not like him but one of the biggest producers in the world mixing on a phone? Come on mate.

 

he has my respect for his cover of I Sat By The Ocean alone.

 

 

 

TWYUTD Is definitely a grower. I can't stop singing it now.

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13 minutes ago, elmo said:

Man. The hate for Mark Ronson is an interesting one.

 

i mean you may not like him but one of the biggest producers in the world mixing on a phone? Come on mate.

 

he has my respect for his cover of I Sat By The Ocean alone.

 

 

 

TWYUTD Is definitely a grower. I can't stop singing it now.

 

Yeah, I don't like the guy, so that may have coloured my perception.

 

I think you may have misunderstood my phone point, unless I've misunderstood yours. The version I heard was on YouTube, so it was probably mixed for phone speakers, i.e. higher frequencies emphasized over low ones, so that it sounds better on a small speaker. The consequence of that, if course, is if you listen to that mix through home stereo speakers, capable of playing lower frequencies at a higher volume, it sounds really toppy and tinny, with very little bass coming through at all.

 

I hope that's what it is anyway, if the cd sounds like that as well I'll be disappointed. When I first listened to it, I thought they were repeating the trick from You Say I Ain't Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire, where the first few bars are really tinny, but then it kicks in with the full dynamic range. But it didn't kick in, it just stayed tinny through the whole song.

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27 minutes ago, dug said:

 

Yeah, I don't like the guy, so that may have coloured my perception.

 

I think you may have misunderstood my phone point, unless I've misunderstood yours. The version I heard was on YouTube, so it was probably mixed for phone speakers, i.e. higher frequencies emphasized over low ones, so that it sounds better on a small speaker. The consequence of that, if course, is if you listen to that mix through home stereo speakers, capable of playing lower frequencies at a higher volume, it sounds really toppy and tinny, with very little bass coming through at all.

 

I hope that's what it is anyway, if the cd sounds like that as well I'll be disappointed. When I first listened to it, I thought they were repeating the trick from You Say I Ain't Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire, where the first few bars are really tinny, but then it kicks in with the full dynamic range. But it didn't kick in, it just stayed tinny through the whole song.

 

Yep that would be me misunderstanding!

 

ill be honest the CD version sounds like the YouTube version to my ears in terms of mix. Quality is better though as you'd expect.

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  • 10 months later...

Well, that was fucking great! First time I've seen them live and they did not disappoint.

 

One moment that will live with me forever is when they were playing You Can't Quit Me Baby and as they were reaching the climax of the song, news of England's victory started bubbling through the crowd. Pockets of cheering spread throughout just as the song was ending, culminating in everyone jumping up and down and deliriously cheering, which ramped up even more as they kicked into No One Knows.

 

It was joyous and brilliant.

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