The Queens of the Stone Age kind of got labeled ‘stoner rock’ just because of their name (sort of like frontman Josh Homme’s other band, Eagles of Death Metal, being labeled ‘death metal’…), and while there’s some truth to it in their sound, the term belies the group’s professionalism. Almost taking a page out of seventies classic rock, QOTSA know what their fans want and know how to deliver it, such as on Villains.
Now, Villains isn’t going to surprise anyone, but that’s not what you’re looking for from a new QOTSA album. Instead, it is songs like the strong rock press of opener “Feel Don’t Fail Me” that almost announce that this is Queens of the Stone Age. “Domesticated Animals” is the epic QOTSA that the band so knows how to do, while “The Evil Has Landed” has road elements very similar to their biggest hits, and even the tragedy of closer “Villains of Circumstance” is s shifting one.
Josh Homme has been doing other things recently, like producing New Skin by CRX and most notably working with the one-and-only Iggy Pop on Post Pop Depression (QRO review). Villains could have been some big sonic experiment or left turn; instead Queens of the Stone Age have reaffirmed what they so well know how to do.