Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris

Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris
Few bands can do consistency like Queens of the Stone Age. As far as critical accolades, impressive record sales, debauched tales and most importantly, tremendous records go, they’re an inimitable bunch. It’s no wonder they’re constantly name checked as the coolest rock band on the planet. While their last album, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze, didn’t expand their sound, it was a solid cluster of riff rampant rock’n’roll. Fifth album Era Vulgaris finds them back in the saddle, pushing themselves further to uncover weirder, more sprawling, fuzzed out jams that build on their legacy as riff-obsessed icons. Falling deeper into that void they like to call their office, Joshua Homme and his uncertain cast haven’t lost the concept of a desert-set party record. This time, however, songs like the psychedelic flash of "Battery Acid” and the queasy electric waves of "Run Pig Run” enter much darker and more uncompromising territory than previous records. Without the obvious mainstream-tickling moments like "No One Knows” or "Little Sister,” Homme injects plenty of that hook-driven energy into the frantic riffage of "Sick, Sick, Sick” or cleans up the Desert Session’s bluesy "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu.” As always, it’s just to-the-point pop music masked as warped and vitriolic hard rock but Era is a mischievous beast of an album that continues in QOTSA’s fine tradition. (Interscope)