Villains - A Quick Review

Villains - Queens of the Stone Age

Their new album arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I got home from a long day of work; I mean a long day of work. I was looking forward to it all week, really I was. They are by far my favorite band.

I poured myself a drink, leaned back in my chair and threw on a pair of headphones. I clicked ‘play.' The first track started, just how I assumed a QOTSA album would start. Otherworldly, lots of odd vocals bouncing around and slowly the music picking up speed until the song truly started.

These albums usually hit you hard right off the bat, or take some time to warm up. This one warmed up quick on the second track. “The Way You Used To” feels more like Josh Homme and Friends covering an indie rock song than what you would expect from a full-length QOTSA LP. It is good, groovy and fun, but different. Which isn’t a bad thing.

Now, “Domesticated Animals” really shouted out as a true QOTSA for the first 30 seconds, but quickly became less droning/melodic and was more stale/repetitive. A stoner rock version of a Sesame Street song. I wasn’t that into it.

The album as a whole is good. If you’ve listened to the last two albums by QOTSA, this is not far from what you might expect. There are plenty of good songs; “Head Like a Haunted House” being a prime example. However, none of these songs would make it onto my top songs. It’s a good rock album, but I expected a bit more from them as a whole.

I think the days of “Lullaby to Paralyze,” “Songs for the Deaf” and their self-titled are over. These songs are driving, and filled with incredible individual performances. I’ll certainly be listening to it quite a few times within the next few weeks. I’m sure some songs I’ll come to grow on, but it will not become a favorite by any means.

It’s a solid B-. I’ve listened to it twice through, and I’ll stick by this rating. For anyone hesitant, it is certainly much better than “Like Clockwork” and is on par with “Era Vulgaris” (Era Vulgaris would pull ahead for me with a B+).

EDIT: I did forget to mention that one track stood out to me above all the others. "The Evil Has Landed" is one track that should pull the die hard fans into this album first and foremost. While it does not stray from the overall feel of the rest of the album, this is one song that rings, beginnig to end, as reminiscent, yet wholly new.

-- f.h.

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