Discography: Queens of the Stone Age

I listened to all their records start to finish.

August 28, 2020
Queens of the Stone Age cover
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Inspired by Erin Tate's Instagram, I've been listening to full discographies of bands from first record to last. 

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I have a wide, grumpy collection of records that no one cares about, so for my first blog about this I picked someone with whom most people would be at least remotely familiar: Queens of the Stone Age. Born in the smoldering debris of Kyuss, this music spoke to me so hard when I was 20 years old. 

Queens of the Stone Age:
Queens of the Stone Age (1998)
Rated-R (2000)
Songs for the Deaf (2002)
Lullabies to Paralyze (2005)
Era Vulgaris (2007)
...Like Clockwork (2013)
Villains (2017)

I give this band a hard time because of my age when their "best albums" came out (98-00). There couldn’t have been a better band for how I felt that I could also listen to with a majority of people I know and just drop into the groove and sit in it.

Going back now, I realize that while albums IV-VII didn’t have that same magic of Songs for the Deaf, they’re still pretty listenable records on their own merit. Maybe it was just that specific listen of Songs for the Deaf that didn’t resonate with me like it used to, but I think my idealism for that record outweighs its actual quality. I'll still take it over most everything else out there right now, but I guess I've grown up a bit. Conversely, my least favorite album, Era Vulgaris, for literally the first time made me happy. A great chance for musicians to step out and for the band to grow now I realize how it helps set up the next two records to be something different. Era is a critical pivot for Josh and Co. 

Even recently, I would have told you that the first record was their best, but listening in sequence, the leap they made and for Rated-R is significant and more importantly excellent. By adding wildcard Nick Oliveri to the lineup, it almost gives the band a Russian Roulet quality. On top of that, Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan is an entirely different texture and depth of despair enjoyed by the that and Songs for the Deaf

I feel like the entirety of their catalog is something you can put on without having to skip around too much between songs and either highlight what you're doing in the moment or add some background texture. I know Josh as a person and performer has faced some shitbag troubles, but separating jackassery from these songs, this band is even more solid than I ever realized.

Up next: Rancid!