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Queens of the Stone Age 

Era Vulgaris (Interscope)

Like a Beyoncé album, Queens of the Stone Age records typically have two awesome tracks and are otherwise filled out by mediocre ones. The act's latest effort, Era Vulgaris, is no different. Lead single "Sick, Sick, Sick" is a simple power-guitar anthem that speeds along during the verses, then slows to a stutter when Josh Homme chants the refrain "Sick, sick, sick/Don't resist." The other winner is "3's and 7's" which starts off with a little ode to Nirvana before offering numerous guitar arrangements, building a case for the band's complexity. But the act invariably returns to its template on "Run Pig Run," which sounds like "River in the Road," which sounds like everything the Queens have ever done. The only exception is "Make It Wit Chu," an almost Spoonish-sounding song about what guys who listen to cock rock want to do (they want to do it). At this point, we know the Queens can play fast and loud, but Era Vulgaris just feels redundant.

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More by Michael D. Ayers

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