Over the past five years, Josh Homme has battled cancer and fought a high-profile battle with his ex-wife Brody Dalle over custody of their three children, among other issues that have to pieces [his] old life,” the Californian singer told Revolver magazine, adding that the past few years had been the darkest of his life. But it was also the emotional springboard that led to the creation of In Times New Roman…, the eighth album from the band that put stoner rock into the public eye at the turn of the millennium.
We retain here certain elements brought by the producer Mark Ronson on Villains, but returning to draw the raw energy that characterizes the first albums of the Palm Desert group.
From the outset, Obscenery relies on a funky bass, a drum that breathes deeply, letting the waves of the guitars pass through, grilling the molecules of the ambient air. The powerful Paper Machete follows with its jerky chords and Troy Van Leeuwen’s tangy guitar that reminds us of what Queens of the Stone Age did best 20 years ago. Time
But the most beautiful find is certainly Sicily, where the falsetto voice of Homme floats above the crackles of the guitar which lead to a flight of tight strings, the guitars and the bass completing the construction of the almost diabolical atmosphere of this superb piece. As for Emotion Sickness, his words may well express the same discomfort, it is also the expression of a renewal. The light is also perceptible in the music, very much in tune with the groove established in the latest QOTSA records, but with guitars that burst in the face. The Straight Jacket Fitting finale is ambitious and superbly put together, in the style that the group gave us on… Like Clockwork, a great conclusion to an album that we promise to listen to often, even if it does not sin excessively of originality.