Wednesday, May 29, 2013

QOTSA- ...Like Clockwork

So... new Queens of the Stone Age.... Return of guests like Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri , and Dave Grohl. New guests like Trent Reznor and Elton John. I'm supposed to get excited, right? I suppose I did, a bit, but, truth be told, I started hearing some very rough demos back in February and I held off judgement. I heard two tracks in April, and I held off judgement. I've had the record for awhile now, and I've been holding off judgement, hoping I'll like it more, and... it still is Lullabies to Paralyze, pt 2 for me. What do I mean? I mean I didn't absolutely hate Lullabies, but I can name you only one track on that record that I still listen to ( "In My Head" which was a total throwback to "Rated R" goodness) and I welcomed Era Vulgaris with open arms, and prefer that record handily. I much, much prefer the first three records, but Era Vulgaris gave me hope that QOTSA hadn't turned into a drag. Now, " Clockwork" brings that all back. Yes, it's a bit better than Lullabies, but, I think it's even more spotty. It has the first track under the QOTSA brand that I just don't like- "Fairweather Friends", and three others that are forgettable "I sat by the Ocean", "the Vampyre of Time and Memory" and the title track. There are three tracks that I really like "If I had a Tail" "My God is the Sun" and "Smooth Sailing", but sincerely, I see nothing else truly worthwhile. So, it's really hard to get excited about something I'd rather had incubated for a few more years, when the songs were fully written. First of all, Josh is clearly bummed out, and the last time he was bummed out like this, we got Lullabies, so I wish he'd waited until the fog lifted. He's a better songwriter when he's got something better than listless, empty hollowness to write about. Second, apart from "If I had a Tail" name me the song with a solid hook- not just a melody- the songs never cohere into a hook, they mostly are a collection of ideas, looking for a direction. Opener "Keep your Eyes Peeled" proves my point in spades- a fuzzed out skronk of a synth line, and then ?
But, I don't want to get into the negatives so much. I really don't. I fail to see the point in trying to say why I'm not into something, when I know that most everybody else will be into it. I'm not here to write jeremiads and I don't think I'm very persuasive, in that way, either. Also, I really don't hate the LP; I just skip a lot of tracks. I'll listen to "If I Had a Tail" and "Smooth Sailing" for a long while, and I'm sure "My God is the Sun" will be a great addition to the live set, but as a whole, the album really just isn't my thing. I've tried until I'm tired, but I just can't shake the feeling that something better will come down the pike.  Maybe that's because some really solid stuff has come down this year- Clutch, The Bronx, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, My Bloody effing Valentine, Coliseum (depending upon how you count it) Night Marchers, Wire, Killing Joke, and Rival Schools - that's a lot of really solid music for 6 months. I hope to get back to that, soon. I have given up on the new QOTSA growing on me, though.  Looking forward to (probably) seeing Kylesa in June...

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