Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Album Review - Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze

Queens of the Stone Age released their fourth album in 2005 and it’s a sprawling beast of an album at 14 tracks (16 on the deluxe version).  Mark Lanegan takes lead vocals on the curveball opener, the brief folk song This Lullaby before the hard-riffing Medication blasts this away, Josh Homme barking out the lyrics to set up a run of seven or so absolute nailed-on QOTSA classics.
There’s Everybody Knows That You’re Insane which explodes into riffing a minute or so in, the glitter-stomp of Burn The Witch, and pounding rockers In My Head and the cowbell-driven Little Sister.  Something for everyone!  These are among the finest songs in QOTSA’s entire back catalogue.  I Never Came is a little more of a slow-burner and a welcome breather after the high octane tracks which precede it.  After this however, the album sags alarmingly, with relatively weak tracks like Someone’s In The Wolf and The Blood Is Love. 
The album never quite recovers until the aptly-titled final track Long Slow Goodbye, where the pace slows for a fine electric strum.  The deluxe version is well worth getting for the slinky, moody Like A Drug, and a storming version of ZZ Top’s Precious and Grace with Lanegan again on lead vocals.
Because of its excessive length this album tends to be in the shadow of Rated R and Songs for the Deaf .  But for the first 8 tracks alone it deserves to be ranked up there with this bands finest work.