Do You Remember Queens of the Stone Age's “…Like Clockwork” Released June 3, 2013



It was six long years for the Palm Desert, California band, Queens of the Stone Age, who went on hiatus from studio albums. Until 2013’s …Like Clockwork, their last record was 2007’s Era Vulgaris. While six years between albums is maybe longer than some fans would have wanted, it was well worth the wait. …Like Clockwork was a commercial success as the record topped the charts and reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. The 10-song album has a run time of 46 minutes of songs that have become concert staples and fan favorites.

At the time of the album’s release, the band featured lead singer and guitarist Josh Homme. In addition to Homme are guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, guitarist Dean Fertita, bassist Michael Shuman and former drummer Joey Castillo. Eventually, Castillo departed from the band while the album was halfway done.

To start, the first song on the track, “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” is a rather left-of-center song. This is because the vibe is creepy and not your typical in-your-face opening track, yet fits them well. Despite the rather off-putting feel of the song, Homme’s vocals are clean and crisp. These vocals keep fans hooked to listen to the next song on the track.

If I had to pick one song from this album to listen to forever, it would be track two, “I Sat by the Ocean.” In theory, it’s one of their more mellow songs for a Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) song. It’s softer than some of their other music and everything meshes well on the three-minute and 55-second track.



Queens of the Stone Age have always had extremely catchy riffs that have set them aside from some of the other bands that they emerged with. Van Leeuwen’s guitar mastery compliments Homme’s eerie vocals. While listening to this track, I love how you can hear all the different types of instruments and techniques used. In addition to the guitars and drums, a piano is used on the chorus, which is met with slide guitars and tambourines. The use of all of these instruments is what makes this song so great.

By this point in QOTSA’s career, this lineup had been together since 2007 and their songwriting and lyric arrangements were second to none. If you read some of the lyrics like “Silence is colder, we’re passing ships in the night…Into the light, left with nowhere to hide,” the band can create beautiful pictures in your head. From this song, I picture ships out on the water passing by silently without seeing the other and the metaphors work perfectly.

Continuing with the album is song four, “If I Had a Tail.” The theme of creative riffs between Homme and Van Leeuwen continues in this song. In addition, Castillo creates a groovy feel on the drum kit to help the song move along. “If I Had a Tail,” is a song that listeners can sway their head back and forth to which also makes this song extremely enjoyable. 

During the song’s breakdown, while Homme is moaning, they dub and echo his voice. This was a brilliant choice made by the band. While the breakdown is going on, the call and response on the guitars was also a clever snippet that added to the QOTSA’s wall of sound.



Track five, “My God Is the Sun,” was the first song off this record to be released by the band when the record was first announced. My initial thoughts about the track were that there’s a Foo Fighters feel to this song. My instincts stood correct. None other than Foo Fighters lead singer, Dave Grohl, is credited with drums and percussion. On this album, Grohl filled in for the departed Castillo and played on tracks four, five, and tracks seven through nine.

For those who aren’t so versed in the QOTSA’s history, Grohl joined the band in 2001 and helped QOTSA record one of their biggest records, Songs for the Deaf. Additionally, Grohl was in a separate group along with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and Homme called Them Crooked Vultures.

The final standout song on the record is track eight, “Smooth Sailing.” I love the feet stomping/head-banging beat from Grohl while Homme and Van Leeuwen play twanging chords on their guitars. Throughout the entire record, including this song, the secret weapon of the band is Shuman. If you quiet the vocals and listen for the bass riffs, you’ll be able to hear his funky basslines. Shuman’s bassline will get stuck in your head for days on end.



Queens of the Stone Age is one of those rare post-grunge bands that were able to hit it big and make a mark on the ever-changing musical landscape that had, at one point, seemed to leave rock behind. Furthermore, Queens of the Stone Age’s music, whether it’s newer or older music, has certainly left its mark on the music and rock community.

If new fans are curious about which album is the band’s strongest, then look no further than …Like Clockwork. This album has everything that Queens of the Stone Age fans could ever ask for.







1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

2. I Sat by the Ocean

3. The Vampyre of Time and Memory

4. If I Had a Tail

5. My God Is the Sun

6. Kalopsia

7. Fairweather Friends

8. Smooth Sailing

9. I Appear Missing

10. …Like Clockwork







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