Music has been moving more and more mainstream and single-friendly over the years, and rock in particular has been shifting more pop, employing elements from other genres you never would have thought possible a decade or so ago. Thus, good modern hard rock is becoming harder to find these days and on that (very) short list of bands I still think are doing it at a high level, the Queens of the Stone Age are definitely near the top.
“I reject your displays I demand satisfaction or the knife To trick the light fantastic, one takes wire on the shins Petty disguises worn like skins, a distinction, nice Drink the Kool-Aid and swallow the pill You say that you don’t and you won’t, but you will”
Villains is probably their most accessible sounding album yet, but that’s kind of to be expected when they set out to work on it with Mark Ronson. However, that’s not to say that things have been dumbed down at all because there’s a non-linearity to their song structure that keeps you on your toes throughout, taking unexpected twists and turns – case in point, “Villains of Circumstance.” In fact, the short 9 track track-listing is misleading as most of the songs are dense 5-7 minute epics (some pushing 7 minutes) that often feel like multiple songs in one. Their playing is sublime, their songwriting is as sharp and witty as ever, and they show once again why they’re still one of the best acts in hard rock.
Have you heard Villains? What’d you think about it? Did you like the more accessible nature of the songs Mark Ronson and Queens of the Stone Age pairing produced? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.
Queens of the Stone Age worked with Mark Ronson to create their most accessible album yet, while still providing the depth, nuance, and wit you've come to expect from them. This is contemporary hard rock done the right way and an absolute must listen.