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Queens Of The Stone Age
… Like Clockwork (Matador)

Queens Of The Stone AgeJourno’s do love a tale to hang a review on, we all do it and Josh Homme’s near death experience is certainly the one most have chosen to hang this album review on (Google it). Fans of the QOTSA will already have this so what is there to entice the floating voter with a sneaking regard for tracks like ‘No One Knows’ and ‘Feelgood Hit…’ but have to date found the Queens a touch, erm, monolithic? Well as it happens this is easily the most varied collection of tunes Homme has ever dabbled in from glam stompers and psyched wig outs to ballads and is in consequence the most fully realised Queens album to date. It's also terrific.
Ruby Palmer

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The Qemists
Spirit In The System (Ninja Tune)

The QemistsLet me just say up front here that this reviewer felt The Qemists previous album Join The Q was one of the best of last year, so Spirit In The System had a lot to live up to. That it doesn’t quite do that has more to do with the guest vocalists on offer (Rob Hawkins or Mike Patton? Hmm…). That’s not to say it doesn’t kick off, the tracks featuring Jenna G and Invasion’s Chantal are wonderful blunderbuss breakbeat racket, it’s just not quite the ‘all killer no filler’ of their previous effort, but there’s more than enough cool stuff here to keep us all keen to hear their next effort, and the Pendulum comparisons? Nah, the Brighton boys are far better.
Drew Bass

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Queens Of The Stone Age
Queens Of The Stone Age (Domino/Rekords Rekords)

Queens Of The Stone Age The history: Josh Homme’s previous band Kyuss had hit a creative wall and, having done some tour work with Screaming Trees, Homme decides to take his previous bands sludge-core leanings in previously unexplored directions (crucially adding choruses) and Gamma Ray were born. Fortunately everyone realised Gamma Ray was a rubbish name (and already owned by an equally rubbish metal band) and this debut effort – featuring a lady in her underpants on the cover - was born. Quite why it then took until their second release Rated R to breakthrough is unclear as the QOTSA sound is all here fully formed and in full effect.
Ruby Palmer

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The Qemists
Join the Q (Ninja Tune)

The Qemists Those of you that are currently cutting a rug to drum and bass rockers Pendulum (or the mighty Bug) will be delighted to hear that these are not the only ones welding whopping great riffs to break-beats, only in the case of Brighton based outfit The Qemists you can also factor in nosebleed techno and proper ‘Whoa! Christ on a bike what’s this?’ Style vocals courtesy of ex-Faith No More vocalist Mike ‘Mr Bungle/Fantômas/Tomahawk’ Patton. This is a proper headlong, no-holds-barred genre mash of an album that cranks the metal riffs up to eleven whilst boasting some serious arms-in-the-air, dance floor filling, goose-bump moments.
Drew Bass

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Queens Of The Stone Age
Era Vulgaris (Polydor)

Queens Of The Stone AgeOpinions seem divided on this, the fourth, QOTSA release, but what is immediately apparent is that this is not an album which hurtles out of the blocks like Rated R and in consequence has left some of the bands fans a bit perplexed. The trademark Queens juggernaut riffage is present and correct but this time around tricksy time signatures and, whisper it, rather lovely moments (‘Into The Hollow’) pepper the proceedings and vocal variation is on offer courtesy of Julian Casablancas and Mark Lanegan. It could have used a ‘Feelgood Hit...’, but this is a grower, and the Queens remain a provocative propostion for a rock outfit.


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Queens Of The Stone Age
Lullabies To Paralyze (Polydor)

Queens Of The Stone AgeNowadays - since the departure of bass monster and inveterate onstage knob waver Nick Oliveri – a band in name only it has to be admitted this reviewer approached Lullabies To Paralyze with a little trepidation, with lugubrious QOTSA main man Josh Homme now wielding absolute power would the lunatic punk leanings one always imagined Oliveri supplied leave a leaden lurching Queens, devoid of vim, vigour and erm, vitality? Not a bit of it. QOTSA always were humorous, though provoking, if wildly confrontational, metal merchants, and still kick up a mighty shit storm whilst provoking pleasing pulses in the old noggin.


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