Queens of the Stone Age
Rated R Deluxe Edition (Interscope / UMe)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Sept. 10, 2010
Queens of the Stone AgeRated R Deluxe Edition (Interscope/UMe)
Songs for the Deaf was QOTSA's commercial breakthrough, but 2000's Rated R, which came before it, notched the eternal "Feel Good Hit of the Summer," a Rob Halford-backed seven-step program of rock & roll debauchery. Josh Homme fused his Californian stoner metal in Kyuss with Them Crooked Vultures' "Scumbag Blues," resulting in the frontman guitarist's most seductive work ("Monster in the Parasol," "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"). A decade later, Rated R remains a contemporary classic, with Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan chain-smoking melancholic ("In the Fade"), bassist Nick Oliveri's lunatic punk binges ("Quick and to the Pointless," "Tension Head"), and sublime Brit-rock ("Auto Pilot"). The reissue adds a second disc of B-sides (live staple "You're So Vague," sneering "Ode to Clarissa"), plus covers, most notably the slick revision of Romeo Void's "Never Say Never," equal parts Sonic Youth harmonic pendulum and the Eagles of Death Metal's Heart On. That's chased with the band's 40-minute triumph at the 2000 Reading Festival, a timely capsule of QOTSA's deadbeat humor and the visceral prowess that threatens to combust during heavy rave-up "You Can't Quit Me, Baby." Prepare to relapse.
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