Desert Sessions - Volume 7 & 8
Josh Homme is a busy man. With his main band Queens of the Stone Age, his involvement with Eagles of Death Metal, and now heavy-rock super-group Them Crooked Vultures, it’s easy to forget some of the other endeavours that have taken up his time. Desert Sessions are a series of eclectic sessions played purely for the sake of music itself, and featuring a vast array of different musicians that have included PJ Harvey, Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Devo) amongst others. Here, Southern Lord have seen fit to re-release the long out-of-print Volume 7 & 8, first released in 2001 and probably one of the more easily accessible of the series.
A fittingly sun-drenched opener, ‘Don’t Drink Poison’, features some exotic Eastern-tinged guitar and the unmistakable tones of Mr Homme serenading over the top. Following swiftly on, ‘Hanging Tree’ showcases the whisky-smooth voice Lanegan, and is slightly preferable to the version re-recorded for QOTSA’s Songs for the Death album. The links with that album don’t stop there either: the main guitar riff of QOTSA favourite ‘No One Knows’, appears on ‘Cold Sore Superstar’ in piano form along with a voice reminding us that ‘sex and drugs are legal tender’ where these guys are from. Elsewhere, the hypnotic vocals and tribal drums of ‘Up in Hell’ feel like a march through the desert, while ‘Making A Cross’ slows things down a bit with acoustic guitars and mournful accordion.
The true rocker of the Desert Sessions series, Volumes 7 & 8 feature a great ensemble of guests that meld to make an album that could easily match either of QOTSA’S last two records. With a ‘Best Of...’ on its way as well, there’s no better time than now to seek out this gem.