Posted on June 13th, 2013 (7:00 am) by Lindsey Saunders

...Like Clockwork is somehow differently the same. It’s been a while since Queens of the Stone Age has released an album like this one. It appears Josh Homme has gone back to the beginning, and has shown his growth as a musician in doing so. When I first listened to it, I was reminded of Rated R and Songs for the Deaf - the albums I consider to be the best of Queens of the Stone Age - and yet, I can’t help but think this album must have been created out of a new frame of mind. It is not just a blast from the past because of its sound. Former members Dave Grohl, Nick Oliveri, and Mark Lanegan make a comeback in ...Like Clockwork, and while this has substantial sentimental value, it also contributes to the evidence of growth in every track.

Similarly to Rated R, it’s obvious that Josh Homme has made a conscious decision to give ...Like Clockwork a noticeable dynamic range. Only I would argue this record has even more dynamic to it. Maybe it’s because the entirety of it has more of a sense of direction and purpose, but every time there is a change in the movement of ...Like Clockwork, it is more perceptible, yet never disruptive. It’s impossible not to love the complimentary piano, which changes the tone of the record without stealing the show. Homme continues to stick with his riffs-and-patterns methodology that has always made his music accessible, but not necessarily simple either.

...Like Clockwork wouldn’t be a Queens of the Stone Age album if it weren’t at least a little creepy. Part of their signature sound is how bizarre it can be. Songs for the Deaf is the album that really got the ball rolling with that concept, and it is still present today. Take the breakdown toward the end of “If I Had a Tail” for example. It’s an eeriness that can only be best described as David Lynch. ...Like Clockwork has the same eccentric quality, only now it’s more focused than ever and less aggressive. Unlike Songs for the Deaf, ...Like Clockwork does not have nearly as many music-less gaps for talking or weird sound effects, which also contributes to its more mature sound. Whether or not this was a creative choice, I don’t know. It could very well have more to do with the way the market has changed in the last decade with more people listening to one or two tracks rather than a ten-track record straight through.

One of the most admirable things about Queens of the Stone Age is their ability to avoid pigeonholing themselves in their own sound. Anyone can recognize Homme’s writing style from a mile away, and yet it’s easy to recognize and to appreciate the changes he has made to his sound in ...Like Clockwork. I think this has a lot to do with his openness to collaborations. Homme has always allowed himself to be inspired and influenced by other artists. In this new album especially, we see some really interesting featured artists like Trent Reznor and even Elton John. ...Like Clockwork is evidence of Josh Homme’s ability to remain open-minded as a musician while also remaining true to the Queens of the Stone Age sound that we all know and love. I have no doubt that his fans will grow with him - it is a crime to have anything less than a positive reaction to ...Like Clockwork.

Track List;
1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
2. I Sat By The Ocean
3. The Vampyre Of Time And Memory
4. If I Had A Tail
5. My God Is The Sun
6. Kalopsia
7. Fairweather Friends
8. Smooth Sailing
9. I Appear Missing
10. ...Like Clockwork

Queens of the Stone Age: ...Like Clockwork
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

80 / 100
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