Coming hot off the heels of misery and desert anthems, Queens of the Stone Age holds an inevitable attraction to their music. Whether it is the writing from frontman Josh Homme, the aura of their presence, or just simply hitting the right notes; their 2013 release …Like Clockwork is a broken cage of conquered potential.
The first track “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” has this incredible ability to build tension in the first 18-seconds where only glass breaking can be heard. It is the elimination of this glass ceiling as …Like Clockwork is much darker, with subtlety but a dawned cloak behind its victims. This vampiric apparition is more deadly as it creeps along through the bass lines of “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” before reaching the first strikes. Hearing those descending chords illustrates this shroud of mystery with bloodstained masks and a sleeping sun.
On …Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age is almost unrecognizable at first glance. Their approach to writing and the production of the record is seemingly perfect as they shapeshift and manipulate the listener. Around the fourth track “If I Had A Tail” do they begin to show signs of a familiar monster. With each pass through the record even six-years later, there is something that always lays in discovery as …Like Clockwork is an adaptive album. It is the record that will be present even after Queens of the Stone Age returns back to the desert ashes from which they once came.
And truly the emotional attachment and wounded filter is vital to making …Like Clockwork stand out in the field. Often, Queens of the Stone Age is an overconfident and simply risky materialization but everything changes here. …Like Clockwork shows some personality that would never be imagined, it shows desperation as if it was a wounded animal. The strikes from the artwork which contrast the overbearing reds and blues with the strict black lines seem formal but still damaged.
With the oxygen tanks seeming to keep the record alive on “Kalopsia”, Queens of The Stone Age ditches the cowboy style and adopts to become a recovering patient from this coma-like state. Every track on …Like Clockwork often has these build-ups in the tension or in the air where everything seems to fall apart at once. “Kalopsia” is one of the few tracks that uses a build-up but finds more beauty in the layered, but simple production of whirling keys that form along with the systematic breathing of machines.
Turning far from the shore, Queens of the Stone Age can somehow manage a recovery that saves the psyche of the record from becoming completely broken. …Like Clockwork is definitely one of the stronger releases under their belt, which is held up by some of the best records to ever come out in rock n’ roll. The way that the band works as a systematic vampire to suck life out of the living and redistribute power is frightening, but attractive in the same vein.