An Album a Day is posted 5 days a week, Monday-Friday
The first single off of Queens Of The Stone Age’s forthcoming album Villians (Which is most certainly not being produced by Mark Ronson) is everything you’d expect from this crew. The Way You Used To Do is filled to the brim with fuzzy as all hell guitar riffing mixed with the demented crooning of Josh Homme. These elements are matched with a powerful bassline and set to a catchy swing beat you can easily dance to. This filthy mix of trashiness and soul all set to a beat you can dance to feels right at home in the Queens’ catalogue.
Ronson’s production touches can be felt in the handclaps used to keep time as well as on the absolutely pristine compression used to focus Homme’s fuzzy guitar into a garrote wire. The song isn’t so different from previous tracks the Queens’ have done, reminding me a lot of a swung version of My God Is The Sun from their last album, ...Like Clockwork. If this any indication of a prevailing style on the rest of the album then I’m very interested in hearing the rest of Villians.
The only real negatives I can find in this track is that the drums are a bit buried in the mix, but they do blend in with the handclaps pretty seamlessly, one of the many signs of good production by Ronson. The production value is pretty high on this track, adding polish without losing the very messy and trashy sound that Queens’ are known for. I was particularly impressed with the way that the various guitar tracks both blend together and can be heard apart from each other very well, with the bass line being clearly felt and heard as well. With the amount of fuzz and instrumentation from this band it would very easy to lose the individual instruments.
This song likely isn’t going to bring in any new fans, and it isn’t supposed to. This is a song for the fans and in all likelihood the album will also be. Homme and co. have never really seemed to be bothered too much with the idea of mainstream success or doing anything besides making bluesy stoner rock for themselves and whoever would listen. By all accounts, Villians will do exactly that, just maybe with some handclaps and horn sections courtesy of Mark Ronson.