By Matthew Hill
American rock band Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) have allowed eager fans to preview their sixth studio album for free on iTunes.
“…Like Clockwork” will be released in the U.K. on June 3rd – and the following day in the U.S. – but for a limited time you can listen to it online and you really should: it’s an impressive piece of work.
The opening track – “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” sets the tone for the album. Driving bass, edgy guitar riffs and a steady drum beat are all used to great effect here. What struck me with this opening track was the typical QOTSA sound that it evokes; it will be a comfort to fans worldwide that the band hasn’t strayed far from their signature sound.
This is not to say that the album is a carbon-copy of their previous efforts; it is interesting and enjoyable to listen to it in its entirety – a quality that I find is lacking in many albums released in recent years.
As the album moves on it attempts to strike a balance between guitar-laden, riff-heavy tracks – such as the previously released single “My God Is The Sun” – and softer affairs that are accompanied by melodic piano.
This may be a result of the influence that guest artists Elton John and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears; but they were not explicitly obvious when I listened to it. If I had not been informed of their involvement in the album I would scarcely have guessed they featured at all.
All in all, this is a very good piece of work. Never before, in my opinion, have QOTSA made such a well rounded album.
Here is the link to the free stream: http://itunes.com/qotsa. Get it while you can!