Should someone decide to create another 'Worst Album Covers Ever' email, the clamour for 'Era Vulgaris' to be included will be immense. And the feeling that Josh Homme & Co have let standards slip could also extend to what's inside too, such are the impressions on early listens that this is a rush job.

With a production that sometime sounds like you're listening through the wall in the next room, 'Era Vulgaris' is the most abrasive thing Queens of the Stone Age have made to date. But like its 2005 predecessor 'Lullabies to Paralyze', this works its charms in stages.

Once again there a special guests (Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas), a song that has been dusted of from Homme's 'Desert Sessions' get togethers ('Make It Wit Chu') and those unique riff-chorus collisions that he does like no-one else. And just like every other Queens of the Stone Age record, there are songs here that deserve to be included on your own 'Best Queens of the Stone Age Album Ever'.

While it will never be returned to as much as 'Songs for the Deaf' or 'Rated R', 'Era Vulgaris' continues Queens of the Stone Age's run of never releasing anything that wasn't worth owning.

Harry Guerin

To buy 'Era Vulgaris' from the RTÉ eshop click here.