Interscope - 2002 - 61 minutes

Difficult as it is to do, you get the feeling that if you turned down 'Songs for the Deaf' for a couple of minutes, you could almost hear of thousands of bands crying and wondering if should they pack it in. Like all the greats, Queens of the Stone Age have the ability to pull you every which way. They can be funny or scary, endearingly ramshackle or utterly ruthless and on their third album they harness all these qualities into the wildest of rides. Some achievement, given that 2000's 'Rated R' was such a great record, but 'Songs...' thinks bigger, sounds enormous and provides as much in dark depth as it does in live now thrills. Dave Grohl just doesn't get back behind the kit for anybody y'know...

The name of the opening track, 'You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire', is the best explanation for the album's energy. It could have been recorded in some dingy studio but the hooks and choruses are so anthemic that you know it'll be it blasting out of everything from people carriers to rockers' bars over the next couple of years.

Frontmen Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri are the perfect foils for each other and every song, the former adding his lazy vocals while churning out the riffs, the latter rattling off his bass and singing as if the power in the club is going to be shut off in a couple of minutes. Throw former Screaming Trees man Mark Lanegan into the mix too, and you've got a record that stops off and refills at everything from psychedelia to metal to blue collar rock yet always rises above comparisons with other outfits.

Supergroups rarely live up to the first part of their title, but what these four men, with a history of great bands (Kyuss, the 'Trees, Nirvana) between them, achieve on this record will have you making stupid devil signs all week. Oh, and don't even think about playing it before you go to sleep.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire - No One Knows - First It Giveth - Song For the Dead - The Sky is Falling - Six Shooter - Hangin' Tree - Go With the Flow - Gonna Leave You - Do it Again - God Is on the Radio - Another Love Song - Song For the Deaf - Mosquito Song