Queens Of The Stone Age recently collaborated with Mark Ronson to produce their seventh album ‘Villains’. So far it has received mixed reviews from fans as they have gone against the grain slightly, injecting more glam and blues vibes into its songs. But does this make it a bad album? Of course not. Whilst it may not be what the fans were expecting, it shows that the band are willing to take risks, experimenting with different sounds and genres; if the band hadn’t done this, it’s likely that the album would have been disregarded by many as ‘just another album’.
Whilst some songs, such as opening track ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’, are rooted in the band’s normal genre of hard rock, others such as ‘The Way You Used To Do’ have a completely different feel to them. This song, in particular, is packed full of blues beats, making it undeniably catchy. The upbeat rhythm acts as a stark contrast to the sinister lyrics, including lines such as ‘Gave birth to monsters who will terrorize normalcy’.
‘Domesticated Animals’ is thought by some to be about how people want a revolution but don’t actively take any action towards change. Like domesticated animals, we want to be wild and free but are prevented by higher powers. Regardless of what the song is supposed to suggest, most would agree that the song’s groove is one which we can appreciate.
Many fans have been far less fond of the less thunderous songs such as ‘Fortress’ and ‘Hideaway’. These songs are missing the typical heavy drum beat and guitar sounds which make their songs so captivating. Despite being some of the least popular songs on the album, they do make the album far more diverse than if they’d chosen not so include them.
‘Head Like A Haunted House’ is a personal favourite from the album. With crazy psychobilly vibes, the band has built upon their hard rock roots which is what led them to become one of the biggest names within their genre whilst at the same time, stepping out of the norm by mixing in punk rock sounds.
‘Un-reborn Again’ strikes the perfect balance. Whilst being one of the calmer songs on the album, the guitar and drums are still very much present. The song is unexpectedly broken up towards the end with violins, adding some variety into a section of the song that would’ve been somewhat repetitive without it.
‘The Evil Has Landed’ really demonstrates Mark Ronson’s involvement in the album, infusing Queens Of The Stone Age’s usual rock guitar riffs with a fresh funk feel. Closing song, ‘Villains Of Circumstance’, is an eclectic mix of sounds which sums up the album perfectly. Sinister lyrics, spoken in undertones before breaking out into a far more lively tune with heavy drums to accompany the lively guitar riffs.
The band is due to begin their world tour in just a couple of weeks’ time and have (unfortunately) not yet announced a full UK tour however, they are performing on five dates around the UK and Ireland. Tickets are still available for London on the 18th of November at Wembley Stadium and the 19th of November at the Manchester Arena.