Queens of the Stone Age

Era Vulgaris

Going farther down the rabbit hole with the same spooky, Halloweeny sound heard on 2005's Lullabies to Paralyze, Queens of the Stone Age's latest – Era Vulgaris – is proof Josh Homme and his ever-changing merry men are keeping it real. Case in point: Opening track "Turnin' on the Screw" brings the distorted, machine percussions and sleazy-but-sexy rock, and "Sick, Sick, Sick" brings the low-chugging bass lines and simple but dangerous guitar riffs that create the Queen's signature sound. Lullabies' eerie vibe is recognizable on Vulgaris, but is dirtied with the stoner-rock sound from Rated R and the band's first, self-titled album. Listen for fast-riffed, slide-guitar sensuality on "3's & 7's" and the smoky, seductive slow dance on "Make It Wit Chu." But prepare for the ghastly, bad-acid-trip experience on "River in the Road."

"Lie to my face," Homme croons. OK, your new release is horrible. 4 stars