After Queens of the Stone Age announced they'd lost singer Mark Lanegan and bassist Nick Oliveri, rumours flew about how Josh Homme would salvage the band. Some suggested Homme, never a stellar singer, had invited a slew of guest screamers to share vocal duties on QOTSA's fourth album. Nope. Although Lanegan helps out on the lugubrious opening track, Homme anemically moans his way through most of the rest - cameos by girlfriend Brody Dalle and Shirley Manson are buried so deep in the mix they're wasted. Distortion saves Homme's growl in Medication's fuzzy cacophony, overdubs work on the lethargic bluesy slink of You Got A Killer Scene There, Man..., and Billy Gibbons's greasy Southern guitar licks are killer. But without the rhythmic thrust of Oliveri and Dave Grohl, QOTSA's ponderous stoner dirges lack punch.
QOTSA tear shit up at the Kool Haus March 30.