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appears on Era Vulgaris (2006)
For fans of the band, Queens of the Stone Age (or QOTSA), it’s so hard to decide how to introduce the band to someone who’s never heard the desert rock band out of Palm Desert, California. Do you go with something hard and heavy? Maybe Song for the Dead or Song for the Deaf, off their 2001 success Songs for the Deaf. Or something bluesy and melody driven, with Homme’s mix of soft tenor and sneering falsetto, I Sat By The Ocean or Kalopsia, from 2013’s lauded ...Like Clockwork? Maybe you’re kind of a purist, more a Kyuss guy, really, and you play them Avon, You Can't Quit Me Baby, or just make them listen to I Think I Lost My Headache all the way through.
With eight albums to their name, one of the few truly consistent things about QOTSA has been Josh Homme, as the band’s sound, from album to album and song to song, is as dynamic as its lineup. Formed in 1996, after the dissolution of Homme’s previous band, Kyuss, QOTSA has had many different members and collaborators, but I’m not here to write a Wikipedia article. This week, I’m just gonna get weird with it; we’re going with a song off 2006’s Era Vulgaris.
Primarily featuring Homme, Joey Castillo (drums), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar), and Alain Johannes (guitar), the album is a hypnotizing trip through the weird, driven by bouncing riffs, Homme’s unorthodox guitar scales, and seeming discord. It can, uh, take a little getting used to, but it’s definitely worth a full length listen, and choose your poison for the ride.
With its seemingly off kilter rhythm and riffs, echoing and “violent in a way you can’t quite pin down” lyrics, and punching drums, Battery Acid is the trip I’m sending you on this week. Honestly, the best way I’ve described it is like this, “imagine like if a song was kind of attacking you and also itself, both with its music and its lyrics, like in an angry way, but also weirdly kind of haunting and beautiful.” It’s so freaking weird, and I love it.
Or you could play it safe and play them No One Knows or The Way You Used to Do, but what fun would that be?
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