1. Queens Of The Stone Age : In The Fade

(Rated R, 2000)

It starts with an eerie, high pitched whine, part intoxicated bee and part hellish dog whistle. A resigned voice describes the final stage in a broken relationship.  Then a dissonant, downtuned guitar revs up like a demon Harley and boosts us down the highway of the chorus and we learn that everything was doomed, doomed.

Mark Lanegan's vocals are wonderfully resigned, attractively devil-may-care and beautifully restrained, but the killer hook is Josh Homme's intense, compressed riffage cruising through the chorus before the gutsiest, ballsiest guitar tone ever lifts the track and places it firmly onto the two-lane blacktop and Out Of Here.

Rated R was my introduction to QOTSA and despite the stoner rock rep, is just pure pop in places.  Presumably this is why they tried beating their listeners round the head on their next album, Songs For The Deaf.  Didn't put me off though; see 10.

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