Queens of the Stone Age: Their 10 Greatest Riffs

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As rumours swirl of a new album from Josh Homme’s alt-rockers, we look back on Queens of The Stone Age’s best ever riffs.

10 ‘3’s and 7’s’

‘3’s and 7’s’ starts off smelling a little like teen spirit, disarmingly jangly and radio-ready, before taking off into an interstellar chorus. The riff lightens the tone, but it’s a clever move, freeing up Homme to ramp up the theatrics and make one of their sharpest tracks yet.

Queens of the Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s

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9 ‘Everybody Knows That You’re Insane’

‘Lullabies to Paralyze’ got some stick for failing to live up to predecessor ‘Songs for the Deaf’, but this is just one track that fulfils the promise of the record’s title. Homme’s mercurial riffage is full of elegance and menace, giving the track’s four minutes a sense of grandiosity and odyssey lesser bands would reserv for conceptual double-albums.

Queens of the Stone Age – Everybody Knows That You’re Insane

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8 ‘Sick, Sick, Sick’

“It’s just, like, one chord clanging incessantly like a satanic alarm clock, now and then mutating grotesquely but always returning to that thudding, ugly beast of a riff,” you cry? Yeah! Isn’t it great?

Queens Of The Stone Age – Sick, Sick, Sick

Music video by Queens Of The Stone Age performing Sick, Sick, Sick. (C) 2007 Interscope Records

7 ‘Never Say Never’

It’s Homme’s Jonathan Richman drawl that makes this song tick, but the insistent radio-rock riff and criss-crossing harmonics are the secret weapon, interlacing so effortlessly they sound accidental.

Queens Of The Stone Age – Never Say Never (Good Version) + Lyrics

Queens Of The Stone Age’s cover of Romeo Void’s track Never Say Never found on their now re-released album Rated R LYRICS: If time itself was his demeanor There’d be no sunlight or a glimmer Of sunlight landin on the street Sunsuit girls must be discreet Sunsuit girls must be

6 ‘Monsters in the Parasol’

‘Monsters in the Parasol’ plays it like a boxer, hopping deftly from foot to foot, unleashing a furious jab every eighth beat but instantly regaining its poise. If you want to know what a knockout sounds like, fast-forward to the pounding flurry at 1.18.

Queens of the Stone Age – Monsters in the Parasol

Queens of the Stone Age – Monsters in the Parasol A funny and trippy video for a funny and trippy song 😀 Lyrics The walls are closing in again, oh well The walls are closing in again, oh well I seen some things I thought I never saw Covered in

5 ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’

Homme’s sinister riff here creeps up like a quiet storm before unleashing a cyclone in the chorus. It’s less ‘terrace anthem’ than ‘terrace being incinerated by maniacs before collapsing into rubble’, but you know what you get with these guys.

Queens of the stone age- better living through chemistry

Another vid, (this time not a slide show) of QOTSA, better living through chemistry. Great song… more to come

4 ‘My God is the Sun’

Twin guitars spiral and weave like display planes as ‘My God is the Sun’ begins, escalating in intensity throughout the track before Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen’s solos crash and burn spectacularly in the finale.

Queens of the Stone Age – My God Is The Sun (Official)

Out now. Get in there. //itunes.com/qotsa Amazon //smarturl.it/QOTSAamazon Indie Stores //matadorrecords.com/indie/qotsa/likeclockwork

3 ‘Hangin’ Tree’

This hailstorm riff blisters through the track in jittery 5/4 time, a perfect example of how Homme blends the weirdest elements of pop and heavy rock to make something quite different from either, but instantly familiar.

Queens of the Stone Age – Hangin Tree

Lyrics Would you like our way home I bleed my own Round the hangin tree Swayin in the breeze In the summer sun As we two are one Swayin Can you see under my thumb There you are Round the hangin tree Swing in the breeze In the summer sun As we two are one Swing

2 ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’

Once more proving that three chords is more than enough to start a band – and perhaps two too many – narcotic anthem ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’ sees Homme’s riff replicate the tetchy, 5am intensity of a pale-faced partygoer reaching out a trembling hand for the orange squash as the night winds down.

Queens Of The Stone Age – Feel Good Hit Of The Summer

Music video by Queens Of The Stone Age performing Feel Good Hit Of The Summer. (C) 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

1 ‘No One Knows’

‘No One Knows’’ riff doesn’t know whether it’s about to have an orgasm or a panic attack, sputtering and stuttering with tetchy insistence before Homme lets rip . An obvious pick, but the classics always are.

Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows

Music video by Queens Of The Stone Age performing No One Knows. (C) 2002 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.