mon 15/07/2024

Album: Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman… | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman…

Album: Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman…

Josh Homme reflects on a difficult few years

Like his fellow (occasional) Queen of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, the death of Taylor Hawkins (as well as those of Mark Lanegan and Anthony Bourdain) has hit Josh Homme hard. Not one for reflective ballads, however, Homme’s reaction to these and other recent difficult events on In Times New Roman… often sounds close to an unfocused howl of misery.

In addition to these personal tragedies, Homme has also had to deal with a messy divorce and subsequent family issues. More than the deaths of his friends, this is the subject that seems to have particularly provoked his ire on the Queens’ latest album. “You speak lioness and damsel in distress fluently,” he sneers on “Paper Machete”. “Love’ll make ya sick,” he proclaims on “Sicily” and blithely harmonises “Baby don’t care for me / Had to let her go” on “Emotion Sickness”. On the other hand, In Times New Roman… pulls musically from a broad but shallow pool. “Paper Machete” gives out a chart-friendly alt-rock vibe, while “Made to Parade” throws in some prog metal and “Carnavoyeur” adds a dash of 80s goth – with Homme even solemnly declaring that “Every living thing will die.” Elsewhere though, “Emotion Sickness” is a half-fat version of the Queens’ ragged anthems on Songs for the Deaf. “Time and Place” and “Negative Space” are both riffs looking for tunes. While “Sicily” is just a bit of a dirge.

We’re often told in this more touchy-feely world that it’s good to get your problems off your chest, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily provide the building blocks for a great rock album. However, at least Homme is aware enough to acknowledge it’s time to “bring on the heeling” on set-closer “Straight Jacket Fitting”. Maybe he could also consider making up with Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age’s former frequently wasted and naked bass player) to reinject some real verve back into the music while he’s at it.

We’re often told in this more touchy-feely world that it’s good to get your problems off your chest

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