Queens of the Stone Age, ‘The Evil Has Landed’ | Track Review
Queens of the Stone Age keeps the ambitiousness alive and well on “The Evil Has Landed,” the second single from album, ‘Villains.’
Queen of the Stone Age announced their new album, Villains, in June 2017. Villains arrives four years after the band scored a no. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with …Like Clockwork. In June, single “The Way You Used to Do” was released, showcasing a slightly different sound for QOTSA, thanks in part to production by Mark Ronson. Two weeks ahead of Villains, the band drops a second single, “The Evil Has Landed.”
“The Evil Has Landed” doesn’t hold back in regards to duration – it clocks in at more than six-and-a-half-minutes. Now that’s ambition. It’s not only ambition in length, but musically as well. From the start, the intro sets a foreboding tone, foreshadowing the trip that is “The Evil Has Landed.” The guitars are ‘souped-up’ – definitely characterized by the heavy, distorted tone. The guitar riffs have a bite, while the drums pummel, anchoring the evil down. Vocally, Josh Homme isn’t nearly as evil as the instrumentation, providing a nice musical contrast with his more even-keel sound.
In addition to great music and vocal tone, “The Evil Has Landed” has its fair share of rocking moments. There’s the ridiculous “du-du-du…” that appears at the tail-end of the second verse. It’s followed by a sick bridge section, as opposed to the expected chorus. After the first bridge, the guitar solo marks one of the elite moments. The form of “The Evil Has Landed” is a bit unpredictable, which is a positive, yet a bit intimidating. The outro seems to come out of nowhere. At first, it seems unrelated to the earlier riffs and musical ideas, but then some familiarity seeps back in.
So, how does “The Evil Has Landed” stack up? This is a juggernaut. There’s a lot to like or minimally respect about this joint. Queens of the Stone Age seem to have quite an adventurous album on their hands with Villains. Arguably, “The Way You Used to Do” was a bit more accessible. Still, the ambition of “The Evil Has Landed” can’t be written off in the least.