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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Queens Of the Stone Age
Songs For The Deaf
Interscope Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Queens of the Stone Age succeed where so many other bands fail for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which being talent. QOTSA - as they are more efficiently known - have a pedigree and family tree that would make both Tonie Joy and Tony Ceraulo sweat, with relations to everything from Kyuss to Nirvana to Soundgarden to Tool to Screaming Trees and beyond. Queens of the Stone Age have taken the format of hard-rock or stoner-riffage or whatever else you want to call it to a new level of evolution, and they have snowballed into a syrupy juggernaut from modest, obscure beginnings. This, my friends, is how to play rock and roll.

Picking up where other simple-minded acts like Fu Manchu leave off, Queens of the Stone Age make their contemporaries look like a bunch of blank-faced Cheech & Chongers holding a bong when the party is over. Songs For The Deaf is the Queens of the Stone Age's third proper album (not counting various forays into obscure vinyl under other names) and it time-warps the band from the days of their sophomore release R into a new world of sensational offbeat chugga-chugga riffs and overt drug references. From the opening of the wonderfully-titled "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Million", Queens of the Stone Age set the score straight - Songs For The Deaf is where the track jumps back to the core of what heavy-gauge rock and roll is about, circumnavigating the recent trends of rap-rock and tough-guy machismo.

As "No One Knows" illustrates, there is plenty of room for homage at the altar of rock and roll, but it is tracks like "First It Giveth" with its operatic title lyric "first it giveth/ then it taketh away" that really pounds Songs For the Deaf home. Queens of the Stone Age can be surprisingly melodic at times, and even when aligning tantalizing notes they never let down their concrete visage. Core members Oliveri and Homme may have their allusions to King Crimson placed strategically, but the nods to Bill Ward's overlord Black Sabbath are still strongly noted. The end result is Songs For The Deaf as a thirteen track juggernaut of heavy, hand-in-the-air-with-a-pinky-and-forefinger hair banger of that is diverse without being off the charts and lush without being a textural overload. I could have done without the "modern rock radio is Satan" theme, but just about anything would be worth tolerating to hear Dave Grohl pummel the drum kit, allowing me a brief respite to close my eyes and dream of 1992. I also couldn't be happier to hear the deep evergreen vocals of Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan gracing four of the tracks on Songs For the Deaf.

This is the album that I've been waiting for Queens of the Stone Age to make; the realization of promise hinted at on earlier albums without the obvious restraints of the Man's Ruin "complex" that leaves so many great bands constrained stylistically. Tracks like "Sky Is Falling," and "Another Love Song" make devastating use of QOTSA's previously untapped potential.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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