35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Ah, a day in the life of FM rock radio -- as FM rock radio should be...
Queens of the Stone Age are a blessing of modern rock and roll, a group who doesn't succumb and conform to all the bland trends found so prominently in today's music. The first DJ on the album's car radio announces another day of boring FM rock, when suddenly, from nowhere, Queens of the Stone Age blast into a screaming rage that is more Mariyln Manson than Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters' sound is promptly more evident on the next hit song, "No One Knows." And so this diverse album plays out: As the radio dial turns and various DJ's speak up, so springs forth an eclectic choice of music from one band -- all on one unique CD.
Queens of the Stone Age possess an extremely tight-knit sound that mixes melody with thrash at free will. The guitars often come in spurts, and meanwhile, guest drummer Dave Grohl clicks away on drums with abandon and precision. The cryptic guitars and eerie vibe to songs like "Song for the Deaf," "Hangin' Tree," "First it Giveth," "Song for the Dead" and "The Sky is Fallin'" all hearken back to a heavy metal age when bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden ruled, not that these guys sound like those bands by a longshot; it's just that Queens of the Stone Age has an aura to its sound reminiscent to where bands like Maiden and Sabbath came from.
Power pop rock also makes a huge appearance on "Songs for the Deaf," a la bands such as the Foo Fighters and Pixies: "Go With the Flow," "Gonna Leave You" and "Do it Again" are all potential modern rock hits on the radio. Simply put, this is the type of band kids in high school get excited about. At times speed metal, at times heavy pop, at times dark metal, Queens of the Stone Age can't be pinned down to any one sound. The last great tune, "Mosquito Song," is even driven by a Spanish guitar sound that turns operatic, a perfect closing tune for a perfect album -- during one day of perfect FM radio. Similarly, "Another Love Song" has a Spanish flair to it, once more displaying the broad range of this band's musical tastes, and its willingness to expand on those tastes.
The interspersed DJs on "Songs for the Deaf" are as diverse as the music, representing a time when rock on FM radio was also more varied. The first DJ pleads, "I need a SAGA, gimmee a SAGA." Well, this album is definitely the saga he seeks. It's a blistering synergy of music that is original, fresh, fun and untouchable.
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2002
Man oh man. I'm driving down Route 21, ripping along, and Queens of the StAge are playing. "Song for the Dead" comes on and there's this wicked riff, truly the musical embodiment of an evil grin, at about a minute-ten left. Chunky, salty, grinding, and I'm really into the pounding sound. Crash fade.
Three seconds later, THEY PLAY IT AGAIN. The best riff on the song, and they do it again, rip it up, and let you have it.
Oh man, that's a band that delivers the goods.
See, I'm a sucker for good formulas well executed. The interstitials of a guy pretending to tune in "Queens" songs and DJ talk-ups, I dig. I'm a huge Slayer fan, but "Six Shooter" is the best death metal song of 2002. I get it, I really do.
Haven't enjoyed something this thoroughly, through all the tracks of an album, since Kilgore released "Search for Reason". Sure, there's fourteen distinct tracks on here, and not every one is a balls-out rocker, but each song deserves headphones and some uninterrupted attention... unless you're driving down Route 21.
Then all ya need is track four. And play it baby, play it.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2002
Queens of the Stone Age might be the best rock band active today. "Songs For the Deaf," the group's third album, is their finest to date. That in and of itself is no small feat, as both of Queens' previous efforts were excellent in their own right. Dave Grohl (former Nirvana drummer, now Foo Fighters singer) plays drums on "Songs...," and his presence is most definitely felt. Homme and Oliveri, meanwhile, pieced together a record that works beginning to end.
"No One Knows" is the first single. The song is very unconventional underneath, with a guitar riff generally foreign to this genre, but rocks nevertheless. "First it Giveth" and "Go With the Flow" combine mainstream rock sensibilities with a powerful, live-sounding production. The overall song-writing quality here is phenomenal. "The Sky is Fallin," "Hangin' Tree," (from Desert Sessions 7/8), "Do It Again," and "Another Love Song" are all remarkable. Production is also very true to Queen's sound (I've seen them live). The end result is an album which in some ways reminds me of "In Utero," by Nirvana, not so much for its style, but its substance.
Anyone who likes rock music, be it Staind, the Vines, Linkin Park or Nickelback, should buy "Songs for the Deaf." It may wind up being as essential as "Daydream Nation," "In Utero," and "OK Computer." At the very least, its among the best of 2002...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2004
First off, I'm going to have to say that Queens Of The Stone age is the best, most original band to come out of the music scene in the last 6 or 7 years. They're truly original, and anyone who listens to their music knows that they are listening to something different.
Their latest offering, "Songs For The Deaf" is by far one of the best CD's I have ever heard. Not only does it sound great, but musically it's flat out incredible. I'm not a drummer, or even a Nirvana fan, but Dave Grohl is the man. This Album also shows the musical genius of Josh Homme, who writes almost all of the material. Anyone who slags this CD should take a step back and look at the music scene right now, and compare it to this band. Gorgeous harmonies, Josh Homme's sweet vocals, pummeling drums, and killer guitars make this CD a must have.
"You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire": 9/10. This track slams you into the CD, as it's maybe the heaviest song on here. With bassist Nick Oliveri doing his trademark depraved wildman howls, and Josh Homme playing simple, yet heavy and ballsy riffs, this song rocks.
"No One Knows": 10/10. This song had the misfortune of being extremely overplayed on alternative radio, yet you listen to it and it never really tires. Great rythms and vocals from Josh Homme.
"First It Giveth" 10/10. One of the best songs I personally have ever heard. This is one of the tracks where you realize that Dave Grohl is simply incredible(and he uses a single bass pedal!). Cool harmonies, killer tempos; this song is absolutely killer.
"Song for the Dead" 9/10. Another heavy track, where the drums pound you behind Homme's and Oliveri's trademark Trance-like vocal chants. Also the first track to prominently feature Mark Lanegan, who is one of the most unique singers of our time. Killer Dave Grohl ending.
"The Sky Is Fallin'" 10/10. The trippiest, most trance-like song on the CD. Put this on and just sit back and listen, as it is truly amazing.
"Six Shooter" 8/10. Easily the most underrated song on the album. Simply put, this song is pure balls, with Oliveri just shredding his throat and going crazy. This song is not filler!! It was going on Nick's solo album when Josh Homme heard it and adamently suggested it go on 'Songs For The Deaf'.
"Hanging Tree" 9/10. The next song to feature Mark Lanegan, and, like all of the songs on this album, it is totally uniqe. Lanegans vocals, are laidback and low, yet intense and emotional. The propelling drums push this song to cool heights, while the effects-laden guitars give it true depth.
"Go With The Flow" 10/10. The second hit off the album, and it rocks. The best, coolest, most tripped out four chord song I've ever heard, of which Dave Grohl can be thanked, as it's his drums that make it so unique. It was also nice to see the killer video on MTV, nestled in between crap like Justin Timberlake and J Lo.
"Gonna Leave You" 8/10. Featuring Oliveri on lead vocals, and showing that he is actually a talented singer, not just a screaming madman. However, while this track does shine, I find it personally to be the least interesting on the CD.
"Do it Again" 8/10. Like "Gonna Leave You", only better. Homme sings lead on this, as he is the primary singer in the band. Great groove song for playing in your car with the windows down.
"God Is In the Radio" 10/10. Great song about the commercialization and hypocrisy of organized religion. Lanegan sings lead on this, and it's just a really cool jammed out song that displays the band's dynamics. Sweet chorus too.
"Another Love Song" 10/10. Definitely one of my favorites. I think the simplicity of it make this song the most overlooked. Listen to it and you'll see it's like a mid-60's, psychadelic rock song, with background chanting that gives it a dark, almost satanistic vibe. Oliveri is on vocals again, although it isn't as obvious. Just a really cool song.
"Songs For The Deaf" 10/10. Heavy, melodic, Queens Of The Stone Age. Awesome drums, cool lyrics, and raw energy makes this track one of the standouts. Definitely one of the best, creepiest songs on the CD.
"Mosquito Song" 10/10. Listen to this song with the lights out when you go to bed, and you'll appreciate it a little more. Definitely the standout track. P.S. It's about chasing some guy through the woods and eating him alive. F****'in creepy.
Thanks, and hail to The Stone Age!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2002
If you think "Corporate" and "rock" are two words that should never go together, then you should thank God for Queens of the Stone Age, one of the few bands keeping rock interesting. Although their first two albums were both terrific, this one is the culmination of all QOTSA have done in the past. Indeed, "Songs for the Deaf" seems to be a combination of the riff-heavy stoner metal of the debut and the eclectic, experimental approach of "Rated R." The result: an album chock full of twisted guitars, trippy vocals, and eccentric song structures, sure to please even the most discriminating rock fan.
The album fires out of the gate with the roaring "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire," which gives me an uncontrollable urge to turn my car into a one-man mosh pit. From there, the goods come quickly, as the first five songs are all no less than terrific. "No One Knows" and "A song for the Dead" boast two of the most likeably wacky time signatures in recent rock memory. Much publicized addition Dave Grohl gets to show off his drum chops on the hard-driving "First it Giveth," while "The Sky is Fallin'" combines a heavy riff and laid-back vocals to great effect. Later, "Go With The Flow" introduces a pounding piano beat into the mix, and the result is just spectacularly infectious. "Do It Again" and "God is in the Radio," meanwhile, boast grooves so deep you could fall into them. I know I've mentioned just about every song by now, but they're all just so damn good it's hard to single any out. The guitars are great, and the bands multi-vocalist approach gives you a variety of sounds to chew on.
Now this isn't pop, and if you're the kind of person who forms an opinion about a song within one minute of the first listen, "Songs for the Deaf" might not be for you. But with a little close listening, it's pretty easy to settle into a groove. "Songs for the Deaf" is one of those rare rock albums that actually get better with time, and manage to hold your attention all the way through.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Queens of the Stone Age is a band I was introduced to back in college. It was actually this album, Songs For the Deaf, that was released during that time and a few of my friends were buzzing about it. I didn't give the band much of a change back then though. I liked their singles, but something was keeping me from sitting down and listening to the album from beginning to end. Recently, due to the last three QOTSA albums, I've become a pretty big fan of the band and I'm kicking myself for not giving them more of a chance back then. As of this review, Songs For the Deaf is my favorite release from the band. I guess the main thing that kept me from getting into them sooner is Josh Homme's voice. He sings in several different styles and tones and I like it when a vocalist is capable of doing that. It's just at times it sounds like he's not putting much effort into singing. He sounds kind of monotone and his vocals crawl along in certain songs. Sometimes, like with the song, "Hangin' Tree," it works extremely well. In my opinion, it sounds like he tries to match his tone of voice to the beat and rhythm to the song. Sometimes it works and sometimes it makes you look forward to the end of a song. That really seems to be my only complaint as I love everything else about this band. The lineup to the band is constantly changing and while that's kind of disappointing on one hand, it's pretty impressive on the other. With new band members, new ideas could be brought to the table. Their sound won't ever go stale. This also leaves multiple opportunities for Homme to work with a lot of musicians and the creative outcome isn't always the same. I think Josh Homme described it best in a quote from him in 2000, "It really is more of a musical experiment...It keeps moving and reinventing itself. That way we never get painted into a corner." If you're wondering why this band is getting the buzz that they do or if you've been putting off trying to be a full fledged fan of this band, then this is the album to start with.
The album kicks off with "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I feel Like A Millionaire." There's a certain theme throughout the record. It's like someone is flipping through radio stations and you're just along for the ride. That theme starts here with a thirty second intro. We hear a DJ say, "I need a saga. What's the saga? It's Songs For the Deaf. You can't even hear it!" That statement alone is so ridiculous, I have to love it. Josh Homme immediately introduces us to how well he can scream. The song is filled with crunching guitars and clapping...of all things. It's actually an incredible combination. The drums almost seem to take a backseat on this song, but don't worry. There's plenty of time for Dave Grohl to strut his stuff later. All in all, a great way to start off the record.
The first single, "No One Knows" is next. There's a pretty solid drum beat that leads those same riffing guitars. Dave Grohl lets loose on the drums during the chorus. The vocals are a good example of Homme's unique singing voice. It's a decent song and a great choice for a single. I just feel it drags in certain parts. The radio station tuning returns in Spanish to close the track.
"First It Giveth" begins with a spastic guitar rhythm. The switch to acoustic guitar during the end of the chorus is a nice touch. The drums are brought to the foreground as you can hear every stomp and crash Grohl pounds into his drum set. Great song. One of my favorites on the record.
"A Song For the Dead" has my favorite intro on the record since it starts with the guitars in the background and some amazing drum work in the foreground. Then the whole band chimes in. Homme introduces us to yet another singing style. It's very raspy. This song is a good example of his tone matching the beat and rhythm of the song. Some pretty incredible guitar riffs occupy the middle, while the drums go off on an incredible tangent on their own. The track ends with those same pounding drums and noisy riffs from the beginning except it's much faster. It's almost as if they're showing off and I mean that in the best way. Another favorite track of mine.
"The Sky Is Fallin'" starts off with some background vocals that remind me of Radiohead for some reason. The song revolves around distorted guitars and what sounds like a lot of cymbals. The vocals go into some new territory as Homme sings in a higher tone than he normally does at times. This song seems a little too long to me. It clocks in at a little over six minutes and just doesn't hook me like other QOTSA songs have done in the past. Radio theme returns with some pretty humorous stuff to close the track.
"Six Shooter" can best be described as a very loud hard hitting song. There's a lot of yelling and it's only a little over a minute in length. It's actually a great song considering its length.
"Hangin' Tree." Another awesome song filled with raspy vocals. I love the rhythm this song has. The guitar riffs and pounding drums make this song...and record for that matter. It has a good pace. The music is a little fast while the vocals are kinda slow. The track ends with us turning the station to...
"Go With the Flow." The other single from this record. I usually dislike singles as they're usually overplayed, but I think I could hear this song over and over again and not get tired of it. The piano in this song is an extremely awesome addition that makes me love the song even more. Homme's vocals and Grohl's drumming help wrap this song up into an incredibly good single. The sound of the radio changing stations can be heard again at the end of the track.
"Gonna Leave You" buzzes its way into the speakers. Those same distorted guitar riffs we know so well kick in. Homme sings at that slightly higher tone again and it fits the song well. The song itself just doesn't do a whole lot for me. It just feels like filler. It has a decent beat, but the vocals seem to be lacking.
"Do It Again" begins with chants of, "HEY!" and noisy guitar riffs. The song is a step above the last one, but still seems to fall short overall. The chorus is a little too repetitive for my taste. It's another decent song that just isn't up to par with other songs on the record. More radio station surfing. Lots of religious stations and songs get skimmed through, which means...
"God Is In the Radio" is next. The drum beat and bass line pave the way for the guitars to chime in. The piano/keyboard parts are very brief. I mean, it sounds like one note being played in the background, but it's a welcome addition to the already fantastic beat to the song. The vocals are sung in a way that fit the song very well. It's like Homme isn't putting much effort into singing. The lyrics are almost just spoken. It's a bit slow, but is bound to get stuck in your head.
"Another Love Song". Homme has such a unique voice and he showcases it here. The drums have a beat that make you want to stomp your feet as what sounds like an organ occupies the background. The guitars sound like they're straight out of Pulp Fiction. Another decent song, but I usually skip it for...
"A Song For the Deaf." Another track that clocks in at over six minutes, but this time it doesn't waste a note. The bass line during the beginning reminds me of Tool. The QOTSA sound isn't really distinguished until the whole band chimes in. Homme's voice shines yet again. There's weird screaming that can be heard in the background as it jumps from speaker to speaker. It's like the vocals are sung while the background vocals are sung in that raspy style I mentioned earlier. The guitar riffs jump back and forth from sounding distorted to sounding fuzzy. A great way to end the album.
The secret song, referred to as "The Mosquito Song," is quite possibly the best secret song I've ever stumbled across. They also named their next album, Lullabies To Paralyze, after a lyric in this song. The song is mostly done with an acoustic guitar while Homme sings. I actually really like the lyrics in this song. What sounds like an accordian or maybe an organ chimes in a little later on while a great piano piece occupies the middle of the song. Some horns also make an appearance and some amazing viola work that actually sounds like mosquitos at times. Amazing song overall.
While the way Homme sings at times certainly takes away from certain songs, it's also one of the things that makes this album great. That combined with Dave Grohl's amazing skills on the drums really make the third effort from this band straight out of Palm Desert, California my favorite release from them overall. I'd probably rate this album a solid 8/10.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2002
Millionaire," the first song on Songs For The Deaf may be familiar to some because it's listed on the WWE Tough Enough 2 Soundtrack. This song slyly introduces the listener to what's to come with the muffled guitar cranking into full volume less than a minute into the track. The lead vocal position rotates among the album with Nick Oliveri going first, doing his best Iggy Pop impersonation, which is pretty much him screaming at the top of his lungs.
"No One Knows" has Homme doing lead vocals with his smirking wise-ass style. "No One Knows" lets Dave lead the way with boogie style drums. Oliveri and Homme harmonize over Josh's Ace Frehley-like riff. This is most likely the first single from Songs For The Deaf, as a video has already been made.
After a funny intro from a Mexican radio jock, "First It Giveth" comes chugging along as the third track on the album. Josh remains the vocalist. It's nice to hear someone involved in "metal" actually sing instead of growl and groan. Next is "Song For the Dead" which let's Grohl do some cool fills on the drums before Homme thuds in. Oliveri does lead vocals while Homme backs him up.
One of the most interesting elements in Songs For The Deaf are the smaller touches, like Homme and Oliveri harmonizing, Grohl's stop-start drumming that enforce Homme's tractor-beam like guitar. In "Song For The Dead" there are at least three different riffs. In most metal songs nowadays you get one riff and it wears itself out quick.
The rest of the album gets even heavier if you can believe that. "The Sky Is Falling" is a six minute song that expands and contracts like a black hole. "Six Shooter" lets Oliveri vent some anger in two minutes of his screaming. "Hanging Tree" Mark Lanegan comes to the forefront with his whiskey soaked voice to a spacey psychedelic type song that is all over the place, but in a good way. "Go With The Flow" and "Gonna Leave You" go back to that fun boogie sound like "No One Knows" And "Do It Again" sounds like a sports anthem with its "Rock and Roll Part 1" by Gary Glitter type riff.
The last four songs of the album are by far the standouts. After some crazy radio static complete with revival like radio preachers, we go into "God Is In The Radio". This Doors-esque song has one of the best guitar solos I have heard in a long time. "Another Love Song" is another trippy psychedelic song complete with organ. The title track "Song For The Deaf" is introduced appropriately by a dominatrix type DJ because this song is dark and primal. The hidden track on the CD, "Mosquito Song" is a acoustic number complemented with a horn, piano and string section, reminiscent of earlier power ballads by Led Zeppelin ("Going To California) and Black Sabbath ("Laguna Sunrise"). At the end of the song you can hear something that sounds like the opening riff to "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" from Rated R. A nice little surprise.
With nothing but complete objectivity and sincerity, I can say that not only is this QOTSA's best album, not only one of the best albums of the year, this is one of the all time best. This ranks up here with Appetite For Destruction, Reign In Blood, and Superunknown. This album is a must purchase for anyone who loves it loud, is tired of the modern day rap-metal and poser metal scene or just wants to hear something new. Stop reading and go buy it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2003
Born from the ashes of the stoner rock band Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age does share some similarities to Kyuss. Yet Songs For The Deaf does not fall under the rubrick of stoner rock. It's more like alternative rock, in the tradition of Soundgarden's Superunknown and The Screaming Trees' Sweet Oblivion. It also recalls Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience to some extent.
Songs For The Deaf is quite diverse, from the screaming speed metal of You Ain't Worth A Dollar.., followed by slightly skewered pop songs like No One Knows and Go With The Flow, and the downright ominous God Is In The Radio and Song For The Deaf. It even goes into orchestration (Mosquito Song). The lyrics are dark and intelligent.
And man, does it rock. Homme's amazing guitarwork and laidback falsetto and Oliveri's awesome howls are accompanied by Dave Grohl's heroic drumming. The fact that he decided to go back on the kit in Songs For The Deaf is reason enough to buy this album right NOW.
My pick for favorite is the excellent Song For The Dead, a 6-minute track packing great guitar runs, bursts of organ, incredible drumming, and ominous moaned vocals. Not a single wasted note anywhere, and you will want to hear it over and over again.
Songs For The Deaf is not perfect--Six Shooter is pointless and Another Love Song and Gonna Leave You are poppy, redundant soundalikes. The fake DJ interludes, while amusing the first few listens, can become annoying. But if you're tired of all the nu-metal junk flooding the airwaves, buy your copy of Songs For The Deaf and crank the volume knob up high.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2005
Queens are an interesting band because they don't really follow trend or date, they just try to write stuff that they think is cool. Well, I think it's cool too. This album is their masterpiece to date. Great songs, tight dirty sound, and stellar performances by all involved. Josh Homme is very apt at putting together great musicians who can really create a chemistry. Lanegan sounds awesome and really adds a nice color to the songs he's on. 'Former' bass player Nick Oliveri is rabid and screaming his own sonic contributions and cooler than ever.
As for their drummer on this album, the 'Too Damn Talented For His Own Good' Dave Grohl, well let's just say that his drumming on this record is just plain perfectly sick. Tight, energetic, tasteful and always adding to the songs. It's guys like Grohl that make musicians like me pissed off. In a good way though.
If you like original, guitar heavy, atmospheric rock then look no further. As far as I'm concerned this is the best rock album put out in the last 5-10 years. Yeah, it's that good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2003
This, the 3rd album from So. Cal robot-rockers Queens of the Stone Age has been largely recognized for the drumming presence of former Nirvana and current Foo Fighters member Dave Grohl, who picked up the sticks and played on all but one song on this amazing album. But although the drums can't be overlooked, the main draw into this album should be the diverse styles. It goes from screaming punk metal w/ Nick Oliveri on vocals to the soft growl of former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan and back to Homme, the vocalist on the radio hit, "No One Knows". This is a concept album, it's supposed to be what you might hear on the radio on a drive from Los Angeles to the Joshua Tree in California, Queens of the Stone Age style. But even if you don't get the concept, if you "get" good music, then you should definitely "Get" this album.