Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The Devil may have your back but who is leading you by the hand, sometimes it is hard to know who the real Villains are.
The return of Queens of The Stone Age to forefront of rock always seems assured, the years in between are inconsequential, they are just the time served to truly relish in the works by the band. Some might call it criminal to spend so far away from the limelight, the constant need of some fans, of any group or solo artist to have a continuous grip of the soul of their favourite performer; however the time spent away is always well spent in a group of the magnitude of Queens of The Stone Age. The Villains and the heroes of the peace always have always been on the same side, they just utilise their time differently.
Following on from the group’s previous encounter with the studio, the immensely haunting and sensational live…Like Clockwork was always going to be a huge ask; to follow up any album of such magnitude is similar to going from jumping over ten double decker buses on a bicycle and then finding nobody has jumped Niagara Falls on a child’s training bike without the stabilisers, blindfolded and being asked to recite the whole of Macbeth from start to finish.
Sometimes though the momentum is such that even if you forget the crucial point of the hand that the scheming wife of the title character plays in the downfall of a King; you might still find a way to jump the large crevice and body of water separating Canada and the United States of America.
It is that momentum, sudden, relentless and persistent, that sees Queens of The Stone Age continue in their quest to place great music in front of their fans, and not worry about the time it takes to do or the years in between releases.
In tracks such as Head Like A Haunted House, The Evil Has Landed, Domesticated Animals and the cracking opener of Feet Don’t Fail Me, Queens of The Stone Age might have found a way to see through the blindfold, build a steeper approach to fly across the ravine but they certainly know the words to one of the greatest Villains of literature off by heart.
A tremendous album, such spirit of adventure and persistence is always welcome; sometimes it is not the devil at your back you have to watch, but the hero steering the machine.
Ian D. Hall