Queens of the Stone Age have released their new single “The Way You Used To.” The track is the lead single off of the band’s new album Villains, set for release on August 25th.
Joe Hughes wrote the following article for Alternative Nation:
It’s been four long years since Queens of the Stone Age released the wonderfully melancholy …Like Clockwork. The album, which debuted at number one and snagged the group three Grammy nominations, was not only a landmark album for the band, but for rock music in general. In the years since its release, rock music has taken quite a few blows. From the untimely passing of legends Scott Weiland and Chris Cornell to the general lack of new, exciting bands, rock is in need of a savior right now.
A rock and alternative Justice League of sorts who can burst in and not only restore order, but allow the genre to return to its former glory. The genre of alternative music is bleeding. It is not prospering. And it’s heartbreaking. We need a band to take charge and lead the way. An uncompromising force of good intentions and better music. We need a saga. What’s the saga? With the recent news of an impending first single to the band’s long-awaited seventh album Villains, here is why Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age are exactly what rock music needs right now!
The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died
What happened to our beloved genre of music? Following the late 90’s-early-aughts days of detuned guitars, camo shorts and rap rocking delights, alternative music shifted from a “who’s who” of living legends to a nostalgia-tinged antique show. There just aren’t new bands in this genre. Well there are. But they aren’t the awe-inspiring anti-heroes of Seattle’s heyday.
Bands like Cage the Elephant, the Black Keys and the Artic Monkeys have produced good music. They have fought to add new life to a stagnant genre while bands like Green Day, Weezer and Foo Fighters continue to fight the good fight. And while all of these bands have produced decent-to-good material in the intervening years since …Like Clockwork, none have released an album of that magnitude.
The Long Slow Goodbye
Over the last decade, we saw reunions of a lot of former great alternative bands; Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins. But as quickly as some of these bands returned to their former mastery, the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath. In the wake of Scott Weiland’s passing, Stone Temple Pilots have vowed to go on (even though Weiland had been replaced by Chester Bennington, prior to his death).
Late 2016 saw huge potential for the genre to be passed onto the next generation with the reunion of Temple of the Dog; alternative rock’s first super group. Critics, fans and musicians alike were over the moon with enthusiasm and excitement for this reunion. A truly magical reunion at the time now is a once in a lifetime reunion with the tragic passing of Chris Cornell.
At a time where there is such hurt and devastation, music could be the great healer. Music is the universal language and speaks to everyone and yet can mean something completely different to each person. Queens of the Stone Age could be the provider of that right now by delivering a monster album.
Go With The Flow
Queens of the Stone age have never been a band to follow trends. Instead, the band, and leader Josh Homme have always forged their own path. When 2002’s Songs For the Deaf catapulted the band into the mainstream, they chose to follow it with a dark, mysterious album, Lullabies To Paralyze rather than make a clone album.
It’s that mentality that raises the bar for their upcoming album. You know it won’t be the same. You don’t want it to be the same. But the not knowing drives the intrigue. Where will the go sonically? Lyrically? How many left turns can we anticipate? That is what’s missing from alternative music and why we need Queens of the Stone Age more than ever right now. And why we need this album now.
Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Through six albums, one thing is undeniable with Queens of the Stone Age; their music is fun. Maybe not fun in the sense of how say, playing basketball is fun, but there is an energy, a deep-rooted sophistication and mastery to the groups output. But it’s fun. It makes you move. Just see the band live and you know what this chaotic, magnificence is like first hand.
We need an uplifter. Something to feel good about. Something to bring fans of the genre and band together to celebrate. This could be not only the album we want, but the album we need. 2017 has been has been difficult for music fans and admittedly 2016 had a lot of bumps in the road as well. We need Queens of the Stone Age to make everything right in the world for us once again.