When frontman Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age said the band was working on a new album, he explained that he wanted to make a “dance record,” citing “Uptown Funk” as inspiration. The newest QOTSA record Villains is exactly that. The new material is part disco, part blistering desert rock, part devious experimentation.
The stoner rock gurus also seemed to have found the wonders of the synthesizer. Just listen to the opening track “Feet Don’t Fail Me,” as well as “Fortress.” While both sound like something that would pair nicely with the band’s older self-titled material, the synth adds a new ethereal layer. Much of the guitar sounds like Homme’s days with Them Crooked Vultures (God when are they going to make a new album?)
Every critic seems to applaud “The Way You Used To Do”—the fast-paced fuzz single that is certainly the most dance-oriented track on Villains. The most impressive track in my opinion is “Un-Reborn Again,” a track that has Homme dipping into his inner-David Bowie, coupled with distorted guitar and a cabaret of drums and bass.
All in all, Villains is a new exploratory chapter for Queens of the Stone Age that’s meant to grow on the listener. Homme obviously wants new fans, unfamiliar with his band’s previous body of work. And that’s okay.