By: Grant White
It is inevitable that after years of garnering hit songs in the mainstream spotlight, a time comes when a successful band will eventually fizzle out by failing to put out songs that can keep up with its previous hits. Since Villains is the new 7th studio album of the 20+ year old band Queens of the Stone Age, it would be safe to assume that songs on this album couldn’t possibly live up to the band’s greats like “No One Knows” or “3’s & 7’s”, right?
WRONG!! Queens of the Stone Age is back in all of their stoner rocking glory with this new masterpiece of an album that was released on August 25. Lead singer John Homme delivers exceptional lyrics and lays down incredible guitar riffs alongside guitarists Troy Van Leeuwen and Dean Fertita.
Though there are only 9 songs on the list, each one cranks the dial to the max. The intense energy within songs like “The Way You Used to Do” and “The Evil Has Landed” echo back to the original sounds that made Queens of the Stone Age so great. Other songs like “Fortress”, “Un-Reborn Again”, and “Hideaway” adopt new wave sounds and blend them with dream-like lyrics, producing outstanding compliments to the all-out funk rock jamming that makes up the rest of the album. When guitars aren’t dominating songs with excellent solos and riffs, Homme’s vocals take over and produce fluid, chilling tones. “Feet Don’t Fail Me” opens the album perfectly, demonstrating the kind of catchy, built-up intensity that will be present throughout. The closing song “Villains of Circumstance” shows Homme’s voice at its best in both the high-energy and low-energy parts of this roller coaster of a song.
The album is produced by Mark Ronson, who worked with Bruno Mars to produce the hit song “Uptown Funk.” Homme wanted Ronson on board to produce Villains in order to create an album that had a funky dance quality to it. The blend of Queens of the Stone Age’s groovy heavy rock with an “Uptown Funk” influence pays off here.
Queens of the Stone Age shows that it’s far from being done in the music industry as Villains tops multiple charts in the first week of its release, reaching #1 in the UK Albums and #3 in the US Billboard 200.
All in all, Queens of the Stone Age proves how good it still sounds with this mind-numbingly five-star record filled with groovy riffs, dark lyrics, and new wave and electronic elements. The album’s chaotic eighth track “The Evil Has Landed” is quite possibly my favorite song of the entire year. If you’re already a fan, you won’t be disappointed. If not, this is a great place to start.
So embrace your dark side and listen to Villains, available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Youtube, as well as other platforms.