QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

ROCK SUR­VIVORS EYE UP THE DANCEFLOOR, WITH MARK RON­SON IN TOW.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

Josh Homme finds the in­ner funk with help from über-pro­ducer Mark Ron­son.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE VIL­LAINS MATA­DOR, OUT 25 AU­GUST

Time and trends have had much the same ef­fect on the tra­di­tional rock star as a starv­ing lion has on a pack of gazelles in a David At­ten­bor­ough doc­u­men­tary. Josh Homme isn’t quite the last man stand­ing – not while Dave Grohl still has air in his lungs – but the herd is con­sid­er­ably thin­ner than it was when he launched Queens Of The Stone Age 20 years ago. The se­cret of their sur­vival isn’t re­ally a se­cret. Homme found a win­ning for­mula early on and has stuck to it: desert dry gui­tar, a rhyth­mic ap­proach that’s more mo­torik than Motörhead, and Homme’s own too-cool-for-class croon. QOTSA’s sev­enth al­bum wisely tweaks the recipe just enough to keep things spicy. The ma­jor twist this time is the pres­ence of Mark Ron­son as co-pro­ducer. Ron­son coaxes the funkiness out of this unfunkiest of groups, most no­tably on the heavy metal-sex-disco of opener Feet Don’t Fail Me, an Up­town Funk for peo­ple who cut the sleeves off their T-shirts. How much in­flu­ence he had on the glee­fully malev­o­lent T.Rex pas­tiche Un-Re­born Again, with its know­ing ref­er­ences to “Skinny-Nose Jack” and “Acid-

RON­SON COAXES THE FUNKINESS OUT OF THIS UNFUNKIEST OF GROUPS.

Face Jake”, is another mat­ter. Where 2013’ s …Like Clock­work, recorded in the wake of an op­er­a­tion that nearly fin­ished Homme off, came from a place of real pain, here he re­verts to oblique type. “You keep your feel­ings locked away/Is it eas­ier, does it make you feel safe?” he sings on the dis­lo­cated Fortress, neatly sum­ming up his own MO. But then enigma has al­ways been part of Queens Of The Stone Age’s ap­peal. It’s worked for them so far. Why change it now? HHHH DAVE EVERLEY Lis­ten To: Feet Don’t Fail Me | Un-Re­born Again | Vil­lains Of Cir­cum­stance

Queens Of The Stone Age: “Hail­ing a cab for five might be dif­fi­cult up here, guys.”

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