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New single: Queens of the Stone Age sticky with sexy sweat

In the Netherlands, this Thursday afternoon is sunny. Clothes stick to bodies. Hotpants everywhere. Boys take off their shirts in parks. This afternoon, the new single from the Queens of the Stone Age on YouTube. The Way You Used to Do is sweaty and hot.

Plea settled

Queens of the Stone Age don't surprise. No need to. The band is grand cru du rock. To the upcoming record - Villians - has been eagerly awaited for months. The plea is settled: this will be the rock moment of the year. New friends make other bands but. The fan base is big enough for mega-halls and a headlining position at festivals. More, younger, new: none of it is necessary. No concessions or compromises; end of message.

SEXY

The new single is all SEXY. But of the kind where the last letter fails-flashes like on a dilapidated motel in the desert around the US-Mexican border. The Way You Used to Do is one of those songs Robert Rodriguez would know what to do with. Sleaze and dirt, in other words. Hot bodies crawling and writhing. Lots of booze and hormones too. And on the jukebox, this single, played completely grey and covered in dirt, is working overtime.

Red cheeks

The two-note melody drags and schmaltzes. Somewhere between Black Sabbath and ZZ Top, the sexy swing grabs at the throats muddy. As with the many earworm singles Queens of the Stone Age have delivered before. The corners of your mouth curl up; the heart rate jerks to 'attack' mode and the cheeks turn red.

Gravel

Josh Homme's voice still seems mined from the gravel pit where the ground for Roland Garros also comes from. So: sun-tanned rust-brown-red, dusty and grainy. At the same time: nice and loose in the Elvis hips and heavy as a roaring boogie of a motorbike gang on Harleys. Plus: under Mark Ronson's inspired production direction, the band thunders like a heavy soul monster. Irresistible.

Good to know
Queens of the Stone Age will play at ZiggoDome, Amsterdam, on 12 November. The new LP Villians will be released on 25 August in multiple vinyl editions and on CD.

Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg

Sets his ear to places he does not yet know in today's sound. Writes the catalogue raisonné of Swedish artist Leif Elggren's oeuvre, is a board member of Unsounds and programmes music at GOGBOT Festival. His essays on sound art have appeared on releases by Pietro Riparbelli, Michael Esposito, Niels Lyhnne Løkkegaard and John Duncan.View Author posts

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