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queenAfter a 6-year break, Queens of the Stone Age release the follow up to Era Vulgaris with an ambition towards greater musical cohesion. Unlike their early-2000s albums, the band is less likely to take wild risks into more eclectic territory, and unlike 2007′s Era Vulgaris, they are less overtly radio friendly. …Like Clockwork sees Josh Homme indulging his more grandiose urges, and with a cast of guest musicians that includes Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Dave Grohl, former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri, Trent Reznor, Elton John, and others, it would be hard not to make this seem epic, at least at first glance.

Opening track “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” creates an atmosphere for the rest of the album with it’s dark, sludgy stomp. The rest of the album is not a series of stoner droning, but the tracks all do seem like clear extrapolations on the theme that “Eyes” helps establish. “I Sat By The Ocean” sounds like the resolution of someone who has lost all hope and has adopted bitter cynicism in its place. Lead single “My God Is The Sun” contains riffing as classic as anywhere else on the album. Another standout, “Smooth Sailing” is a funky track, with groovy drums and great riffs that almost seem danceable. In all, this album exhibits a cohesion and focus as unseen on other albums and is a worthy addition to the QOTSA canon.

Recommended Tracks: Keep Your Eyes Peeled, I Sat By The Ocean, Smooth Sailing

Grade: 7/10