Except the name of the album: ‘Villains’
Queens of the Stone Age have revealed some further details for their much–hinted-at new record in a goofy short film that has them denying the information in a polygraph test, and failing. The trailer gives us a record title, Villains, and a glimpse of a new song. The generically titled “Feet Don’t Fail Me,” if we must compare it to something from frontman Josh Homme’s vast back catalogue, sounds similar to “Gunman,” a song from the tail end of the excellent and sonically challenging Them Crooked Vultures record.
The most surprising bit is that the record was produced by Mark Ronson, whom Homme briefly worked with when he contributed guitar parts on the most recent Lady Gaga album. Queens fans who prefer the earlier, more metal side of the band are likely suffering retina-detaching eyerolls at this news, but the more open-minded fan will be intrigued by what Ronson’s retro-modern production style might add to the band’s ever-evolving collage of sounds. Ronson’s fingerprint is already recognizable in the drum sound we hear in the brief clip, as is his sense of humor about being a famous DJ — see him at the turntable in the corner in a flash of disco lights.
Being a Queens fan has never been a passive concern; the listener must always engage and try to keep up with Homme’s point A to point Z synapses, and that tendency toward unpredictability continues here. The most notable absence in the video is a release date for the record, but whenever it does drop, one thing we can bet on is that it won’t sound like any of their previous releases, with Queens the only comfort zone is terra incognita.
John Dziuban is no longer a musician. Metal Minutiae is an occasional column on the decline of rock music.