Queens of the Stone Age are an anomaly. Their music can be angular, while their lyrics can be common. There is no set pattern to their vision or mission and that tends to be the beauty of the band—their unpredictability. In the myopic world of commercial radio, they are niche-less to a fault, and the only common ground I can find is their ability to unite even the most outlandish fringes of society. Their latest release, Era Vulgaris, once again proves that they are the equator in the musical world of polar caps.
Era Vulgaris is number five in a long line of incredible Queens Of The Stone Age (QOTSA) albums led by the now one-man visionary Josh Homme. With Nick Oliveri officially out of the picture—some of us were hoping for his return— Homme is QOTSA. This is not necessarily a bad thing because if you have not figured out the magic behind QOTSA by now—it is Homme—you may never understand the beauty he creates through his musical endeavors. Era Vulgaris is yet another piece of evidence that Homme, as a visionary, has successfully bridged the gap between metal, pop, and punk—even indie darlings can embrace QOTSA without fear of losing their slim-fit jeans and white belt, and even the most Neanderthal headbanger can grab his crotch, too, without looking like he is playing with himself. With or without Oliveri, this collusion of the indie/punk rock and metal/cock rock chasm is a refreshing adventure for all ears.