Single of The Week is posted every Tuesday
Today we are looking at the newest single by Queens Of The Stone Age in anticipation of their new album Villains, due for release this Friday. This track called The Evil Has Landed is a bit different from the previously released The Way You Used To Do, feeling much more like a blend of classic QOTSA and Them Crooked Vultures. Unlike the majority of Villains (according to those who have heard the leaked version) this track doesn’t feature many funk elements, instead being mildly bluesy with a straightforward rock sound overall. The one similarity this song does have to The Way You Used To Do is that at least parts of it have the same signature Mark Ronson production.
The only real issue I have with this track is that the first 2:30 or so is extremely thin sounding with the drums and bass being barely audible and the guitar being compressed to hell. On further listens I realized that it works as a bit of a buildup as the subsequent sections get progressively nastier and thicker. Even though the sterile production on the first section of the song is a bit much for me, I still find this track to be a great effort from QOTSA. I think this is a nice middle ground between their usual sound and the more polished and funky sound of Villains overall.
I’m curious to hear how Mark Ronson’s clean cut and compression heavy production style works on the full album as QOTSA are generally a pretty dynamic and lo-fi band. The combination could certainly work as previous artists like Jack White and Muse have taken very raw and nasty sounding music and converted to clear and sharp production similar to Ronson’s. From the clips I’ve heard of other tracks, Feet Don’t Fail in particular this album appears to have a really nasty funk vibe to it, similarly to The Way You Used To Do. While funky QOTSA might not sound appealing to everyone, I really dig what I’ve heard so far.
Overall I think this track is good, it’s a bit of a struggle for me to get past the first section because the drums and bass being so low in the mix and all of the empty space bugs me. Once I get past that section though this song absolutely rocks. I get the effect they’re going for, and they do accomplish it by starting small and then ramping up, but I just don’t like the beginning that much. So yeah, I’d quantify that as like a 6 or 7 out of 10 if I did ratings.