Six years after the release of their last album, Queens of the Stone Age are back, this time “in Times New Roman,” or so the title of their upcoming eighth album claims. They’re heralding the release with “Emotion Sickness,” a typically muscular rocker with shades of ELO-style vocal harmonies, as frontman Josh Homme leads a round of “Baby don’t care for me, had to let her go.” A video for the song, directed by Liam Lynch, will debut Friday. In Times New Roman … will come out June 16.
The band recorded and mixed the album at Homme’s Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, California, and added to it at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studio in Malibu. The band produced In Times New Roman … and their longtime collaborator, Mark Rankin, engineered and mixed it. Another longtime collaborator, Boneface, worked on the package for the double-LP gatefold, which arrives the same day as the CD and digital album release.
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A trailer for the album shows a Roman-style orgy with men feeding topless women as a snake slithers across a table toward a be-laureled Caesar (holding a lollipop for good measure). Revelers snort coke, ignore plates filled with pills and Twinkies (for as long as is humanly possible to ignore a plate piled high with Hostess delights), and inject syringes into each other’s glutei maximi. Orchestral strings swoop in and around the soundtrack before breaking into a rock moment, and Caesar exclaims, “Glowy to Wome” (that’s “Glory to Rome” with exaggerated rhotacism.)
The band says in its album announcement that the record reflects the heartache its members have experienced in the past few years. A few months back, Homme commented on in his custody battle with his ex-wife, Brody Dalle, who had accused him of domestic violence and abuse. In a statement, he announced that he’d been granted full custody of his children until the court determined a more permanent solution.
In other Homme news, the singer-guitarist reunited with Them Crooked Vultures’ John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl at last year’s Taylor Hawkins tribute. He also released a video of himself playing the Vultures’ “Spinning in Daffodils” acoustically and duetted with Sharon Van Etten on Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.”
In Times New Roman … track list:
1. “Obscenery “
2. “Paper Machete”
3. “Negative Space”
4. “Time & Place”
5. “Made to Parade”
6. “Carnavoyeur “
7. “What the Peephole Say”
8. “Sicily “
9. “Emotion Sickness”
10. “Straight Jacket Fitting”
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