Queens Of The Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
A while back ago, I was talking about the current Wilco album and how it was released with less attention that their previous two album, because it came with no outside baggage (record label disputes, stints in rehab). The album had to stand up to it’s own merits in it’s own context. Well it’s the same with Era Vulgaris from Queens Of The Stone Age. Their previous album, Lullabies To Paralyze was the first album that didn’t feature bassist Nick Oliveri, one of the band’s only two constant members. Therefore, Lullabies to Paralyze had the extra baggage of fans deciding whether QOTSA still rocked without Oliveri. The reaction was positive, and now QOTSA main man Josh Homme can just get on with making kick-ass rock albums.
Ear Vulgaris starts off oddly, with “Turning The Screw”: a slow, bass-led track that just seems to keep going and going. “Misfit Love” is a scratchy track that pounds away, only for it to open into an atmospheric end section, “Battery Acid” has the same kind of sound. “Make It Wit Chu” is a fairly laid-back pop song (on this album anyway). The tempo changes towards the end of the album, with slower and shorter tracks like “Running Joke” slowing the pace.
For all it’s ambition, it’s the more orthodox tracks that I enjoyed: “Sick, Sick, Sick” hammers away. Still if you didn’t enjoy Lullabies To Paralyze, then you might find Era Vulgaris more to your taste. It’s a harder rocking album, but strips away a lot of the murk from the songs. There’s nothing as instantly brilliant like “No One Knows” or “Feelgood Hit Of The Summer”, but it’s a much leaner album than previous efforts.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Sick, Sick, Sick: