Long overdue on the 3rd of June, Queens Of The Stone Age will finally release their sarcastically titled sixth studio album, '...Like Clockwork'. In time honoured Joshua Homme tradition, the record making process appears to have taken longer and been more fractious than initially anticipated, the current incarnation of the band changing personnel yet again, as if in indirect competition with Sugababes.
Marking their timely comeback with new single 'My God Is The Sun' on new label Matador, their trademark tropes of purposefully ambiguous lyricism, wonderfully experimental musicianship and mind-alteringly complex mid-track instrumentals do nothing but further wet the appetite to hear more new music.
Yet, however familiar the ingredients are to a new Queens project, the outcome is always a stark stylistic departure from what has come before, setting them apart from disappointingly predictable acts such as the Foo Fighters. What Homme and his array of collaborators manage to produce is a sensation similar to that of riding a roller-coaster for the first time; creating something you're guaranteed to enjoy, but is still new and different enough to keep things fresh and exciting.
To further punctuate their inherent adaptability, here's a highlight and direct quote from the press release that recently landed in my inbox; "As previously reported by the internets, ...Like Clockwork includes drums by Dave Grohl, Joey Castillo and Jon Theodore, and guest appearances by Sir Elton John, Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri, Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, James Lavelle, and Alex Turner." Finally what we've all been waiting for, Sir Elton putting the 'Queen' right back in to Queens Of The Stone Age.
Having secured a devoted following for themselves in the grey space between mainstream and cult, it's becoming increasingly difficult to deny that Queens' founder and frontman Joshua Homme has one of the greatest musical minds of his generation. Through a career straddling several decades via 'stoner-rock' pioneers Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures and his personal anthology The Dessert Sessions; Homme is constantly lauded by his peers and generously critically acclaimed, yet he has largely managed to avoid publicity of his significant influence on the genre he continues set standards within.
Where his presence and influence has been most obviously felt closer to home is in the progression and expansion shown by the Arctic Monkeys over the past few years. Since producing their perception changing third album, Humbug, Homme has continued to keep close quarters with the band, lending vocals and opinion during the recording process of Suck It And See. Since his interjection, the band have gone from strength the strength, broadening their horizons and making sure they don't fall in to the much maligned repetitive pitfalls of British guitar bands than came before them, such as Oasis.
Rock music has been crying out for another great album to be released for some time now, and if the first single to be released from their forthcoming album and back-catalogue is anything to go by, Queens Of The Stone Age are the perfect band to remedy the stuttering genre.
* '...Like Clockwork' is released in the UK on the 3rd of June and is available for pre-order.