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Queens of the Stone Age to perform legendary debut album at Metropolis

Posted by Greg / March 26, 2011

The tagline for Josh Homme's record label, Rekords Rekords, is "Starting a revolution against shitty rock!" When exactly did he start the revolution? Maybe in the early 90s as the guitar player for stoner metal pioneers Kuyss. Or maybe in 1997 when Homme brought about a dozen of rock's best musicians to his ranch in Palm Desert, California, for several days of jamming and drugs while tape rolled. Or maybe the following year when his new band, Queens of the Stone Age, released their self-titled debut, awakening the music world from its post-grunge and acoustic rock induced slumber. It is this particular event that Queens of the Stone Age will be celebrating at Metropolis tomorrow night.

With the album being reissued on March 29th, Queens of the Stone Age have embarked on a mini tour where they are playing the album in its entirety and emphasizing other songs from their earliest period. Lots of other bands are doing something similar these days, but this isn't a nostalgia fest like the Smashing Pumpkins Gish tour, or a cash grab like Van Morrison's Astral Weeks tour. Queens of the Stone Age hold the rare distinction of having never released a bad album, and therefore don't need to use a classic album as a crutch. Yes, I realize fans have their preferences, and many lament the departure of bassist Nick Oliveri following Songs for the Deaf, but they are still a band that can pull equally from their full catalogue without letting anyone down. They are a band that has always displayed exquisite taste and talent and have never produced anything less than ballsy rock that sounds unlike anything else out there. But like any band, their sound has changed subtly from one album to the next, rendering their most recent album (2007's Era Vulgaris) quite a bit different from the first. That's why it's such a treat hearing them return to their original sound and reinterpret it for today's listeners.

Queens of the Stone Age is simpler but harder than later albums. As much as Josh Homme avoids the "stoner rock" label, the term aptly describes the album's raging, loud guitars that somehow strike a calm, immersive tone. Josh Homme speaks of trying to "trance out" with his guitar as he wrote the material. The album's first track, "Regular John," sets the tone perfectly with its droning guitar line that transforms into a fuzz jam. Compare that with the performance that kicked off their Queens of the Stone Age tour and you'll see they have only become more vital and powerful over time. It's no wonder Josh Homme has earned the respect music fans all over the world, walking the walk and talking the talk in his revolution against shitty rock.

Queens of the Stone Age play tomorrow, March 27th, at Metropolis
tickets have sold out but more may be made available at the door before the show
photo of Josh Homme rocking two beach balls taken from Mike White's flickr stream

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