Heads up, all you Queens of the Stone Age fans, it's once again that time of the decade when guitarist and cranky visionary Josh Homme graces us with another slab of jams. Heavy on atmosphere, with devilishly skeletal arrangements and a striking number of despairing ballads, ... Like Clockwork is far and away the group's moodiest full-length to date. Just get a load of these song titles: "Keep Your Eyes Peeled," "The Vampyre of Time and Memory," "Fairweather Friends," "I Appear Missing."
Since emerging from the ashes of the now legendary Kyuss in the late '90s, QotSA have oh so gradually evolved from a stoner-motorik metal outfit into a kind of open-ended hard-rock endeavor whose only constant through the years has been Homme. Because the dude is such a fiend for freewheeling collaboration, a delirious number of musicians have passed through the QotSA clubhouse, among them Dave Grohl, Mark Lanegan, Chris Goss, Nick Oliveri, Billy Gibbons, Trent Reznor and Julian Casablancas. But far and away the most out-of-the-blue QotSA contributor -- proving just how experimental Homme is -- would have to be the one and only Sir Elton, whose twinkling ivories are woven into the aforementioned "Fairweather Friends," one of the new album's notable forays into classic art pop (something Elton definitely knows a thing or two about).