QOTSA

Desert stoners Queens Of The Stone Age have released a new song today that will feature on their upcoming album ‘…Like Clockwork‘ which is set to be released June 4th on Matador Records.

New track ‘My God Is The Sun‘ is a straight up banger. No disappointment here, especially when Dave Grohl’s venomous drum steez is featured too. It’s the only way they could have returned. The overall result is another journey into the dark and dusty road that QOTSA are most famous for ruling. Why ruin history by taking a wrong turn elsewhere? It’s where they left off and it’s absolutely rocking.

The full length that is coming is said to have guest appearances from drummers Grohl, Joey Castillo and Jon Theodore plus the likes of Sir Elton John (barf), Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri (thankfully), Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, James Lavelle and Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys. Let’s hope that more of the same has been recorded to tape.

Look out for them at this year’s Download Festival at Donington Park. Turn this right up and get hyped on what’s coming next.

Nick Oliveri arrested

Nick Oliveri has been arrested following a standoff with Police.

The former Queens of the Stone Age bassist, who is currently a part of the Kyuss Lives tour, barricaded himself in his Los Angeles home and stayed inside for five hours. Reports say that Oliveri was arguing with his partner and refused to meet the Police when they called for him. He finally surrended and was charged on domestic violence charges before posting bail of $100,000.

Oliveri had been booted out of QOTSA after Josh Homme discovered he had been physically abusive to his then-partner.

Mini Mansions

S/T
Domino Records

Unusual. Uncovered and Unpredictable is an understatement. Mini Mansions have dived into the scene bringing their Beatles influenced pop songs and obscure imagination behind them. The band was founded by Queen of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman and his overly talented longtime friends, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford in 2009. The band express how it wasn’t a conscious effort, their love for pop and wide range of common influences compelled the trio together. The atmospheric album has a flow through out, linked by their songs: Vintage #1, Vintage #2 and Vintage #3, a buildup of gothic melodies, trembling piano and eerie guitar, eventually leading to a heavy distortional bass. It’s no secret that each member of the band can play several instruments and swap regularly in their sets; Zach Dawes stands up for his drum parts in songs such as ‘Monk’ giving the whole stage a particular feel to it, using the floor tom as a bass pedal, juggling perfectly with his backing vocals; the band’s driven oar comes across effortless along with their talented performance.

Josh Homme said a few words about Shuman’s new project at a Mini Mansions gig in the Carson earlier this year: “This band sounds like its own entity but there were things that just sounded oddly familiar there were little pieces of things without, sort of, dry humping them you know? Because the goal isn’t to copy your favorite band, it’s to be your own favorite band.” For a Beatles influenced band, Josh Homme’s words seem wise. Somehow Mini Mansions have achieved a successful individual sound of their own, despite Zach Dawes love for the ‘Magic Mystery Tour’ record. He explains how that album was mistaken for something happy and commercial, when the songs held a much darker side to them, Michael Shuman has expressed this is what modern pop has been missing. Mini Mansions songs have such eeriness, symbolizing a sense of darkness, along with their deranged music video’s have had no intention of hiding what their music is about, making this a drastic difference between them and the Beatles.

There’s a natural ambiance about these three, something hard to find, and without trying, they are the one of the first bands in a long time to refresh us with traditional pop songs having the musical ability and using it in the right way. Beady Eye might look like the Beatles, but Mini Mansions have defiantly conquered the music side of it… sorry Liam.

Victoria McCormick

Queens Of The Stone Age

Queens Of The Stone Age (Re-issue)
Domino/Rekords Rekords

QOTSAIf the following QOTSA albums catapulted them into the public eye as messiahs of rock ‘n’ roll guitars and hard hitting drums, this more modest debut was a style guide signalling their intent as masters of the carefully constructed mind-infiltrating riff. This re-issue combines the original track listing with relevant bonus tracks from the same period slotted in, boosting an already brilliant album.

The original 11 tracks plus three bonus tracks is frontman and modern rock pioneer Josh Homme’s musical manifesto. It was the product of his attempt to create an instantly recognisable sound, something that he continued to do with engineer-like precision well into the next decade. As soon as you hear the opening four agitated guitar notes on this album you imagine the towering figure of Homme picking them.

The repetitive riffs introduced in opener Regular John and littering the entire album share the same monotony and neurotic demeanour as Krautrock, except Dusseldorph has now become a desert and guitars have descended from the skies. Homme is seemingly infatuated by his own melodic creations and milks them for all they are worth like a hungry wolf devouring an almost bare carcass. They become the axis for each track to spin around and often they contain no more than three notes or one chord. Accompanying these riffs are driving power chords that cut right through your body and give the songs a sense of urgency and direction. Occasional screeching guitar solos present on If Only and bonus track The Bronze are like trapped flys bouncing around a small glass, before giving way to the assured sound that is Homme’s vocal.

The one song that epitomizes 90s QOTSA is Walkin’ on the Sidewalks, a repetitive and punchy rock ‘n’ roll track that transforms into a two-and –a-half minute tunnel of panicky one note jabs. The taunting vocals of You Would Know tread purposefully into the second half of the album, which is bolstered by the additions of the precariously unpredictable These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For and the climatic stomp of Spiders and Vinegaroons.

If a commercially successful and critically acclaimed third album has ever got you into a band, tracing them back to their musical roots can often lead to the discovery of a band flirting with genres and finding a niche. QOTSA on the other hand are a band that started out with a clear vision of what they wanted to do. This neatly concocted album is clear proof of that, with signature QOTSA sounds from the off. It also originally came with a handwritten Josh Homme thesis of how he was going to take over the world, with references to an ex Nirvana drummer, a black, white and red rendered video and something about vultures. He’s good.

Mark Beckett

Queens Of The Stone Age announce UK tour dates

qotsaStoner rock legends Queens Of The Stone Age have announced a European tour and will be playing their debut album in its entirety alongside b-sides from that era at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm/Camden, London on May 17th, then more shows in Dublin, Glasgow and Manchester.

This backs up their re-release of their debut that will be released on Domino Records on March 7th but if you cannot wait until then, there’s a ltd edition 7″ released today of
How To Handle A Rope (A Lesson In The Lariat) backed with Avon on limited to 1000 copies on Rekords Rekords. Click here to order one.

Dates:

Tickets go on sale on Friday 25th February so make a note to avoid disappointment.

02/05/11 Cologne – E-Werk (tickets from: www.eventim.de)
03/05/11 Brussels – Ancienne Belgique (tickets from: www.proximusgoformusic.be)
04/05/11 Groningen – Oostersport (tickets from: www.ticketmaster.nl)
06/05/11 Stockholm – Cirkus (tickets from: www.ticnet.se)
07/05/11 Oslo – Sentrum (tickets from: www.billettservice.no)
08/05/11 Copenhagen – Vega (tickets from: www.billetlugen.dk/home)
10/05/11 Munich – TonHalle (tickets from: www.eventim.de)
11/05/11 Zurich – Komplex 457 (tickets from: www.komplex457.ch)
12/05/11 Graz – Schlossberg Castle (tickets from: www.oeticket.com)
14/05/11 Eindhoven – Effenaar (tickets from: www.ticketmaster.nl)
15/05/11 Amsterdam – Paradiso (tickets from: www.ticketmaster.nl)
17/05/11 London – Roundhouse (tickets from: www.seetickets.com)
19/05/11 Dublin – Olympia (tickets from: www.ticketmaster.ie)
20/05/11 Glasgow – Academy (tickets from: www.triplegmusic.com)
21/05/11 Manchester – Academy (tickets from: www.gigsandtours.com)

23/05/11 Paris – Olympia (tickets from: www.avosbillets.com)
24/05/11 Antwerp – Trix (tickets from: www.proximusgoformusic.be)
25/05/11 Strasbourg – La Laiterie (tickets from: www.avosbillets.com)
26/05/11 Dudingden – Kilbi (Festival) (tickets from: www.starticket.ch)
28/05/11 Budapest – Petofi Hall (tickets from: www.livenation.hu)
29/05/11 Prague – KC Vltavska (ticket link TBC)
30/05/11 Warsaw – Stodola (tickets from: www.ticketpro.pl)