Earlier this week Queens of the Stone Age dropped the news about both their new record Villains, and their upcoming tour with Royal Blood as the opener.
To quote Monty Python — there was much rejoicing.
However, in the promotional video announcing the album (which was hilarious), it was revealed that Mark Ronson produced the entire record.
I thought it was a joke. I mean, QOTSA has been known to infuse humor into their work.
Yeah, totally wasn’t a joke.
I could not wrap my brain around the fact the guy responsible for “Uptown Funk,” and a slew of hits from Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lady Gaga would be responsible for the new record from those swaggering, whiskey fueled bad ass sons ‘a bitches known as Queens of the Stone Age.
With great trepidation I clicked play on the album’s lead single, “The Way You Use to Do.”
To be honest on first listen, there was something about this song. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I couldn’t place my pale finger on it, but I knew there was something about this song compelling me to re-listen to the track.
After a few listens on my computer, then later in my car, I came to the following realization — Mark Ronson is a damn genius.
From the moment the handclappin’ distorted intro meets the throwback bluesy, near doo-wop-esque, tones of Josh Homme’s voice — you’re hooked. This isn’t like anything you’ve heard from QOTSA before. There’s a poppier, toe-tapping, head bopping element that isn’t a staple in most Queens songs. Yet, there still is that air of familiarity to it. That hip-swinging swagger, Homme’s signature pipes, that thick low end bass, and the filthy, whiskey drenched guitar sound, is still there under all the high falootin’ production.
Around the 3:30 mark the song really kicks into it high gear with the gloves coming off the drums, and guitar. The drum beats start really kicking into in a freewheeling frenzy, while the guitar work starts ripping into a heavier riff.
This single should assuage most of those who may be worried about Ronson’s fingerprints being on QOTSA’s new album, This is a damn fine tune, and it makes me want to hear the sonic adventure Ronson and Queens will be taking on Villains.
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
VILLAINS North American Tour
with Special Guests ROYAL BLOOD (Sept. 6 through Oct. 24 Headline Dates)
6/22: Rapids Theater — Niagara Falls, NY
6/24: Amnesia Rockfest 2017 — Montebello, QC
8/10: Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
8/12: Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
9/6: Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
9/7: Festival Pier – Philadelphia, PA
9/9: Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
9/10: 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
9/12: Express Live! Outdoor Pavilion – Columbus, OH
9/13: Stage AE (Outdoors) – Pittsburgh, PA
9/15: Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH
9/16: Riot Fest – Chicago, IL
10/9: The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
10/10: Red Rocks – Morrison, CO
10/12: Peabody – St. Louis, MO
10/13: Crossroads KC – Kansas City, MO
10/14: Roy Wilkins Auditorium – Saint Paul, MN
10/15: Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
10/17: Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI
10/18: Old National Centre – Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
10/20: TBC – Washington, DC
10/21: Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
10/22: tate Theatre – Portland, ME
10/24: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY