Queens Of The Stone Age’s Joshua Homme’s Rekords Rekords label has entered into a worldwide alliance with Domino Records to market, promote and distribute selected titles from their catalogue. The first release under this new arrangement will be an expanded and remastered reissue of the eponymous debut album from Queens Of The Stone Age, to be released in the United States on March 1.
Commenting on this alliance enabled by Queens’ newfound label independence, Joshua Homme said, “My desire to work with Domino comes from witnessing the relationships Laurence has with his artists. The songwriting/recording process is a completely tailored and creatively supportive affair. His presence without meddling gives Domino a great edge. It is as if Domino has done due diligence and therefore know exactly what they’re selling the kids: some artist helmed rock n roll. “
The genesis of Queens Of The Stone Age—the band and the first album—goes back to the 1995 dissolution of the criminally overlooked Kyuss, specifically founding guitarist Homme’s migration from the California Desert to the Pacific Northwest to work on a new project concurrent with spending time on the road as second guitarist in Screaming Trees. Homme discarded the sludgy low-end expanses of his former band for much tighter song structure (for the most part) and honest-to-goodness capital ‘H’ hooks and what was originally christened Gamma Ray was quickly changed to Queens Of The Stone Age shortly after its 1996 birth.
Homme returned to his old stomping grounds and reunited with latter day Kyuss drummer Alfredo Hernandez to record as a fake trio (bass player “Carlo Von Sexron” is a nom-de-boom for Homme) and QOTSA came into full bloom, releasing the original version of this first album in 1998. If this re-issue doesn’t document “hour zero,” it’s only a few minutes past. “Regular John” introduces Homme as a smooth and assured vocalist with great melodic instinct. Tracks like “Avon” and “Walkin On Sidewalks” lock into heavy riffs that are in entrancing in their repetition and subtle shifts. And it’s hard to believe that insistently catchy “How To Handle A Rope” didn’t make a greater impact on mainstream radio upon its initial release. Amidst the mid-fi riffage and willful experimentalism of an artist forging a new sound for himself are some killer guitar melodies that could have easily come from 1971, 1991 or 2011. And that’s part of the timelessness of this unassuming debut album. QOTSA can only truly be classified as a “rock band;” Any attempt to narrow that down further would be to neglect the scope of Homme’s broad body of work and the band’s wide-reaching appeal.
This Rekords Rekords re-issue, in conjunction with Domino, has been fully remastered from the original tapes and has been expanded by three tracks. “The Bronze” and “These Aren’t the Droids Your Looking For” from the long out of print 1998 QOTSA/Beaver split EP and “Spiders and Vinegaroons” which was part of the posthumous Kyuss/QOTSA split EP. Listen to album opener, Regular John, here: http://soundcloud.com/qotsa/regular-john
Queens Of The Stone Age will be available on CD (REK001CD), double vinyl LP (REK001LP) and via digital download (REK001D). The tracklisting is as follows:
1 – Regular John
2 – Avon
3 – If Only
4 – Walkin On The Sidewalks
5 – You Would Know
6 – The Bronze
7 – How to Handle a Rope
8 – Mexicola
9 – Hispanic Impressions
10 – You Cant Quit Me Baby
11 – These Arent the Droids You’re Looking For
12 – Give the Mule What He Wants
13 – Spiders and Vinegaroons
14 – I Was A Teenage Hand Model