André and Fred listen to r/qotsa’s Best Of album

This is part of a series in which two or more members of the Audioxide team listen to an album for the first time. Any moments of interest or insight are purely coincidental.

 

 

[“You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire”]

André
Still one of my favourite album opener of all time.
That explosion still blows my mind.

Fred
‘Prepare to have your mind expanded, friend.’

André
I think a big part of why people find Nick Oliveri’s screaming tolerable is because it’s quite low in the mix.
And nicely mixed, furthermore.
I hear a lot of people say ‘I don’t like scream vocals in metal… except when QOTSA did it’

Fred
I think it’s because they treat it as part of something bigger
Rather than the main event

[“No-one Knows”]

André
That 1-2 combo is SO good
Not a huge surprise that this album has more songs from Songs for the Deaf than any other

Fred
Did any albums not make the cut at all?

André
Yeah. Lullabies to Paralyse
Which is some people’s favourite actually
Has some fab singles like Little Sister and Burn the Witch
Even a Villains song made it…

Fred
So what is this?
…Vulgar Songs for Villains (Rated R)

André
Hahaha
Yes
Grohl’s drumming still reigns supreme here, my goodness.
I will never get bored of No-one Knows.

Fred
Safe choice putting it second
Works well, would you believe

André
Incase you didn’t know – whatever place the songs are on this album, are the places the songs are from on that respective album
So, this next song, If Only, is the 3rd song from the debut album too
Pretty neat! Well done r/qotsa

Fred
Interesting!

[“If Only”]

André
Love that riff
Josh sounds so young!

Fred
The production bridges over pretty well

André
When Josh Homme speaks about ‘robot rock’, this is one of the tracks that always comes to mind

Fred
It’s just so cool
And not ironically cool
Looking at you, Villains

André
Driving with the roof down on a Summer’s day kinda cool

Fred
So did you vote in this?

André
I did

Fred
Any of your songs not make the cut?

André
Plenty
I CANNOT believe Song for the Dead didn’t make it
An utter travesty
Instead we have this…

[“If I Had a Tail”]

Fred
Ah I adore this song
1 2 3 4…

André
I dig it. It’s just no Song for the Dead is all
Sublime groove though, no doubt

Fred
This is the song I was thinking about when I said Homme could make a phone book sound groovy

André
Haha
I think in many ways Like Clockwork is Homme’s best work
Songs for the Deaf is my favourite but this album just really hit the spot
It almost felt like Queens of the Stone Age v2.0
Previous albums were good but not like this

Fred
You know when talented footballers reign in the flair to make the most of their potential?
That’s how I feel about the two
Songs for the Deaf is more exciting
But Clockwork is immaculate

André
If it had a stronger opening track, like SftD does, it would have been a near masterpiece
The only song that lets it down in my opinion

Fred
Ah, I like it

[“Better Living Through the Chemistry”]

André
I’m SO glad this song made it
One of the tunes that made me fall in love with the band as a teen
Riffs fucking everywhere
Plus BONGO’S

Fred
What else?
This playlist injects a good variety doesn’t it?

André
For sure
There’s even a piano ballad later on – gosh
But this is proper stoner rock
Love it

Fred
It’s like this song was custom made for people like you to nerd out
And me, to be fair

André
This had stiff competition too – My God is the Sun, The Sky is Fallin’, Burn the Witch

Fred
Yep, good company
Haha, even the L/R balance is all over the place
Love it

André
Haha yeah they branched out on Rated R
This was definitely the most drug-fuelled one
I mean the album starts off with Feel Good Hit of the Summer…

[“Un-Reborn Again”]

André
Ah, the best Villains song

Fred
We called it

André
We’re rarely wrong, Fred
This works so well after Chemistry

Fred
Such a funky song
This is the only one on the record where they got the production just right

André
Sounds fucking great doesn’t it
I associate the album with a distinct lack of low-end punch, but not this one
And those synths sound FAB

Fred
Serious crunch

André
It has a snarl
That all QOTSA music should do

Fred
But it also nails the kitsch tone

André
It does
I love Homme’s delivery too

Fred
It’s spot on

André
I haven’t gone back to Villains much, but I’m loving this!

Fred
This was why Villains was frustrating though. The rest of the album could have been like this but it sounded like it had been entombed in plastic

André
You’re right…
Ronson takes a good share of the blame, but not all of it

Fred
God the outro is so great

André
The strings are a nice touch
As is the sax!

Fred
‘Do dooooo’

André
Magnificent

[“Mexicola”]

André
Yay another riff-fest!
Cannot get enough of this song
Strange hearing his voice so low in the mix though
You can tell his confidence wasn’t high back then, as a singer

Fred
He sounds good
Not as refined maybe, but that’s part of the charm I suppose

André
Yeah I think so.
I think the debut album was more about the riffs, the grooves and the attitude
Song-writing came with Rated R.
Think this stands up to something more modern like Un-Reborn Again?
Or does it sound dated to you?
I think it sounds of it’s time for sure, but still sounds great

Fred
I think there’s some yin and yang about it
Un-Reborn sounds great, but it’s so polished

[“3’s & 7’s”]

André
That wasn’t a particularly smooth transition on the production front
I didn’t vote for this, but it’s a great single

Fred
I actually thought the drop from Un-Reborn to Mexicola worked a treat
But yeah, the climb back up to this, not so much

André
I voted for In the Fade here
Which is a bit more laid-back, slower pace.
Which I think was necessary after Mexicola
But hey ho
This is still a TUNE

Fred
It is
I don’t think it works very well in the playlist

André
Agreed, probably the weakest spot

[“I Appear Missing”]

André
Ahhhh

Fred
Here we go

André
The behemoth
My god this song..
Is this the best thing Homme has written?
Sorry, that’s a bit disrespectful to the rest of QOTSA, I’m fairly sure they all write it

Fred
It’s out there now, Andre
I’ll edit out that other stuff because it was vulgar, but that stays

André
It’s ok reddit doesn’t have a history of witch-hunts….
*ahem*
The drums !!!
Jon Theodore you boss

Fred
This is a great song, but I’d say it hits harder in the context of the album

André
3’s & 7’s lessens its impact slightly
I think when it comes down to it, my favourite QOTSA song will always be between this and Song for the Dead.

Fred
Amazing to think of the evolution between those two songs
The distance the group has travelled musically

André
They don’t get enough credit in that regard

[“…Like Clockwork”]

André
This was the only sensible way to follow I Appear Missing, surely?
Well done r/qotsa

Fred
There are a couple of times where songs have to come in pairs

André
Millionaire – No-one Knows

Fred
Aye

André
And I Appear Missing – Clockwork

Fred
Aye aye
Funnily enough, I think I’ve enjoyed Un-Reborn Again the most so far

André
Who could’ve predicted that?

Fred
Homme entering Pink Floyd orbit right about now

André
I think this is their 2nd best closing track
I Think I Lost My Headache is my favourite

[“God is in the Radio”]

André
Oh that transition is glorious

Fred
Songs for the Deaf really has something special
This song feels unstoppable every time I hear it

André
It’s wonderful
I think the under-stated drum beat plays a massive part
Grohl thrashes his way through the rest of the record but here he really does let the guitars, and Mark Lanegan’s voice, do the talking
He’s enabling them

Fred
Honestly, I usually prefer that style of drumming

André
I think there’s a balance to these things
Love this breakdown
DYNAMICS people. So important
I’m not sure the end of this song is going to fade into Fun Machine all that elegantly…

[“The Fun Machine Took a Shit & Died”]

André
Yeah, no. Haha

Fred
This does not belong

André
Doesn’t quite follow God is in the Radio does it?

Fred 
Nooooooooo

André
But I have a lot of time for it

Fred
Ok how about this
Remove 3s & 7s and Fun Machine from the playlist and they can be B-sides for whatever the lead singles are

Andre
Haha hell yeah
The first third of the playlist was ace
Almost the first half, in fact

Fred
Yeah, it’s almost uncannily good

André
But things are a little jarring after that
The last 2 songs are gonna work very well though, seeing as it’s the end of Songs for the Deaf haha
So this curated album starts and ends with two Songs for the Deaf tracks
Which speaks volumes

Fred
Indeed

André
I’m a little exhausted at this point, with Fun Machine

Fred
We are over an hour in now

André
True enough

Fred
Would be interested to hear r/qotsa put together a 40 minute album in whatever order they liked
Though the logistics of that would be horrible

[“Song for the Deaf”]

André
This is such an ominous song
I adore it

Fred
It probably gets harder to mesh the albums as they get further along because they’re working towards somewhere different

André
Absolutely.
Though Like Clockwork into God is in the Radio was a fantastic transition
Some things just click

Fred
‘Forrrr the deafffff’

André
‘ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa’

[“Mosquito Song”]

Fred
Lush

André
With this, Like Clockwork, Headache, and of course Long slow Goodbye from Paralyse, QotSA sure know how to end a record
This is particularly special, it feels spiritual
This has been very nice
Thanks again to r/qotsa
I think the first half was outstanding so bravo

Fred
Yeah, lovely
Exhausting too

André
Yeah, perhaps 14 songs is a bit much when it’s not paced accordingly

Fred
Now make a 40 minute one
I’ll wait

André
And I’ll vote