Queens Of The Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze – Review

queensofthestoneage200Queens Of The Stone Age

Lullabies to Paralyze (Interscope)
by Craig Regala

Wherein the nü-stoner kings consolidate their strengths as an off-kilter mantra rockin’ unit pleasing to those both inclined to chomp a nice riff and swing on a taut and liquid melody. Lullabies… is from a “rock band” fully aware of the twists, turns, and eye-rolling nature of their “genre,” and what works and what don’t. Once again I’m gonna refer to an earlier era, that of the glam/art punk twist-up of ’72 -’81. You’re forgiven if you perceive these genres as completely distinct. The media at large has done you a disservice: It’s better to listen to me (who certainly has your best interest in mind) concerning “punk”‘s commentary up on “glam”‘s text (smirk qua smile). Queens Of The Stone Age ride a fast, maneuverable, powerful pony in and around the tunes they construct. I’m just smart enough to figure it out and too dumb enough to make it up… Okay? See? Trustworthy.

queensofthestoneagephotoLullabies… merges the “we’re rockin’ now, ain’t we?” post-Kyuss blurrrrg!!! of the early stuff on Man’s Ruin (“Born to Hula” et. al.) with the coy “fuck-all, we’re as smart as Ween and as hooky as Weezer” of Rated R. So, you get some basic strolling bump-a-long riffs, beautifully understated rollin’-down-the autobahn drumming, and a pensive foreboding that now and then – say, like during “I Never Came” – feels like a lost Eno or Ultravox b-side, back when those guys made rock records. Heck, the cut right after it, “Someone’s in the Wolf,” sounds like Foghat doing Echo And The Bunnymen’s “Way Up and Up We Go,” or Tomahawk taking a crack at a Faust tune. I mean christ-a-mighty, they gotta know a couple, right? So if you liked the previous albums, this is good to go.