Album Review

Era Vulgaris

Era Vulgaris

by Queens Of The Stoneage


8.5 / 10
19th of June 07

Reviewed by Undertheradar


New Zealand is a land full of pot smoking, hippy bogans so it's little wonder we look forward with bleary-eyed anticipation to Josh Hommes and his heavy friend's musical offerings. Kyuss, The Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age are surely all consumed here at greater rates per capita than anywhere else in the world. Era Vulgaris is the Queens’ fifth album and a welcome return to form after the slightly disappointing Lullabies to Paralyze.

The albums opener Turning On The Screw has an industrial inspired intro (Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was supposed to appear on the title track Era Vulgaris but the song wasn't included in the final release. The song will probably be released at some point). Listening to Turning The Screw its impossible to ignore the production with its extreme pans, instead of using transparent production QOTSA have opted for a more creative approach to production and it sure helps to make this album sound interesting and huge. Sick, Sick, Sick follows and kicks in with the distinctive, warm, fuzzy massively distorted QOTSA guitar sound. Julian Casablancas from the Strokes supposedly appears in this track singing and playing digital guitar but I can't hear him, Sick, Sick, Sick is a new classic, it’s up there with the brilliant First it Giveth (Songs For the Deaf)
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I’m a Designer shows off a little of Hommes’ not so serious side with its cheesy refrains, a low point on this album but a pretty cool song in its own right. Into the Hollow is classic stoner rock, a phrase Hommes has admitted he hates. Misfit Love follows with another industrial esque and quite awesome intro, I read somewhere that Gary Numan was an influence on this album and you can hear that on this track, kind of. Make It Wit Chu appeared in one of the Desert Sessions releases and is sleazy and bluesy in all the right ways. 3’s and 7’s has a Smells Like Teen Spirit like guitar power chord riff while Suture up your Future is another dreamy stoner rock number. River on The Road and Run Pig Run feature incredible drumming that even almost rivals Dave Grohls drumming on QOTSA’s essential second album Songs for the Deaf.

So grow your hair long, put this album into the stereo in your Valiant Charger, light up a fat one and drive along the Desert Road. The Queens of the Stone Age have again managed to balance bogan with arty intelligence whilst side stepping indie pretentiousness, this album is heavy metal that we can all dig, man. Highly recommended.

Go to http://www.qotsa.com and check out the album cover, which is animated and hilarious. You can also listen to the whole album.

Reviewed by D R Green



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