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Like Clockwork

From the very first moment, ...Like Clockwork is awesome, and listen after listen it grows. From the unpredictability of its musical progression to the size of its production, there is always something more to hear.

The album, recorded in frontman Josh Homme’s studio, Pink Duck in California, has the undulating pace we have come to expect from Queens of the Stone Age, a mix of soulful meandering interspersed with speedy aggression.

Opener ‘Keep your Eyes Peeled’ is true to form in so far as it is a dissonant and progressive yet listless track, with the trademark tone of Homme’s lead guitar ever-apparent.

QOTSA are renowned for their guest artists and this album is no different. Dave Grohl, everyone’s favourite guest drummer, performs on most of the album due to the departure of long-time drummer and man mountain Joey Castillo.

It showcases not only the Foo Fighters drummer, but also Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Brody Dalle of The Distillers. Alongside these names, Sheffield’s own Alex Turner lays down vocals for ‘If I Had A Tail.’ While his appearance is only subtle, becoming more apparent towards the end of the track, this is quite the accolade for the chap from High Green. On the subject of the recording, Homme explains, “One day you’re parting ways with your drummer of ten years—the next day, Elton John shows up.”

‘My God Is The Sun’ is the quickest and most upbeat track on the album, even though it is one of the shortest at 3:56. The riffs roll continuously throughout the track, blasting their way through. ‘I Appear Missing’ concludes the record alongside the haunting ‘Kalopsia’, and both quietly scream a heart-achingly beautiful sense of disjointedness. They are the kind of pieces that spiral and crescendo intricately toward an unseen place.

This is one of the greatest QOTSA albums of recent times. Holding nothing back, it embraces the pandemonium that has surrounded the band, summed up neatly by Homme himself: “People usually try and run from chaos. But this time, wherever it was most uncomfortable, that’s where I decided to go.”