Queens of the Stone Age, "... Like Clockwork" (Matador)
Opening to the sound of breaking glass and riddled with lascivious intent throughout, Queens of the Stone Age's new album "... Like Clockwork" is the soundtrack to the B movie of your dreams.
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In the six years since the release of the band's critically acclaimed "Era Vulgaris," Queens founder Josh Homme has moonlighted with the Eagles of Death Metal and super group Them Crooked Vultures. Now, the California native sounds energized back in his day job.
The credit list for "... Like Clockwork" reads like a who's who of modern rock, with appearances from the band's frequent collaborators Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan, as well as Homme's former bandmate Nick Oliveri, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Arctic Monkeys' frontman Alex Turner and, perhaps surprisingly, Sir Elton John -- who lends backing vocals and piano to "Fairweather Friends."
Thankfully, "... Like Clockwork" isn't overwhelmed by its roster of guest stars, as Homme and his cohorts create merry hell as Lucifer's house band. The 10 tracks range from piano-led laments about solitude ("The Vampyre of Time and Memory") to loose-limbed desert-funk ("Smooth Sailing") in a collection that represents a welcome expansion of Queens of the Stone Age's sonic template.