Queens Of The Stone Age
If only all hard rock could be this inventive. Queens of The Stone Age fifth album rocks as hard as any before, and Josh Homme has roped in Julian Casablancas for Sick, Sick, Sick. The band turn the grind metal up in several places, with a stingingly sharp, thick and dissonant guitar attack all over the place. However, Homme's voice recalls Jack Bruce, and Era Vulgaris is eerily reminiscent of Cream's Disraeli Gears in its catholic rule-breaking, a few steps further out than Stone Temple Pilots' Purple.
Mark Lanegan contributes two of the best tracks on the album - Make It Wit Chu, a real funk soul classic, and River In The Road. Era Vulgaris is a great return to Songs For The Deaf form, following the Lullabies To Paralyze misstep. The single 3s and 7s is nicely radio friendly, if not quite the anthemic Go With The Flow that brought them to mainstream attention (seems Dave Grohl's not missed at all). Era is not Songs for the Deaf, but that's a pretty high high watermark for any band; it almost hits it.