Six years since their last album, Queens of the Stone Age return to form with ...Like Clockwork, seeing them reach for the same heavily distorted hooks their delivered on the now modern rock classics Rated R and Songs for the Deaf. There is something about QOTSA's ever changing line-up that, beyond singer/guitarist Josh Homme's instantly recognisable vocal and guitar work, you never quite know what you're going to get and ...Like Clockwork throws some interesting collaborations into the mix, including Elton John, Scissor Sister’s Jake Shears and Alex Turner along side old band mates Nick Oliveri, and Dave Grohl who haven't recorded with the group since Songs for the Deaf.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled is centred around the kind of dark and low groove the band is known for, whilst My God is the Son is the straight forward and energetic number they’ve always made to seem so effortless. Fairweather Friends stands as a highlight, with Elton John's vocals and piano adding surprisingly well to the bands sound. The band are still willing to play with their sound, with the frequent use of analogue synths, most noticeably on the dreamy, anaesthetised verses of Kalopsia, and the unexpected and downright dirty, grooving funk of Smooth Sailing.
Despite the large list of collaborators Josh Homme is still running the show. Whilst in the past he sometimes hid behind a veil of lyrical obscurity, here he is more upfront, introspective and honest than he has been before, giving a versatile and emotive performance throughout. Much more leaner and more focused than their last few records, ...Like Clockwork is as essential as the albums they first made their name with.