In 2004, I read that Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age was drumming in a forthcoming side project. Coming from Homme, the "side project" thing didn't shock me. Dude's a busy man. The "drumming" thing struck me as a little odd. I was a big Queens fan at the time, so I was curious to hear what the hell he was doing.
The first time I heard the band was on late night TV, I think it was Conan, performing "Speaking in Tongues." It was weird to see Homme behind the drum kit. He was bulky at the time, his kit was tiny, and the sticks looked utterly tiny his meaty fists. He wasn't technically great, but he didn't need to be. He just pounded away as this slightly gay-seeming dude hammered out power chords and sang in a hiccup-y falsetto in front of him. Two girls with mustaches danced behind microphones but never seemed to actually sing anything. They had no bass player, but did have another guitar player. It was not what I expected. It was way better than what I expected.
So, I was in. I had taped the performance, kept watching it, and the song was jammed in my head. I went out and bought the album as soon as I could find it, and it got played a lot that summer. You could write it off as glammy garage rock or something, but it's more complex than it initially seems. Everything on this record is calculated, from the innuendos in the lyrics to the medium-quality production and recording. It rattles and feels raw, which fits perfectly with the entire vibe of the band. I wouldn't have thought I would love a song called "Whorehoppin' (Shit, Goddamn)," but I sure do.
I went to see the band at Dante's in Portland and the show was wild. It was the summer, it was packed, and it was a beer and sweat-soaked mess all the way through. That's fine, that's how it felt like it should be. Homme didn't play the drums; I think it was Joey Castillo. It was a bummer not to see "Baby Duck," but Castillo's performance juiced up the songs even more.
Yeah, this is a good one.
"I Only Want You"