No other artist out in the wild is making music quite like Queens Of The Stone Age right now. Hell, QOTSA themselves has seemingly graduated to a whole new playing field of musical excellence themselves leaving this gaping hole for a new king or, ahem, queen to step up and lead the sub-genre. Which brings us to today and Colorado’s Stone Deaf who are looking to fill that void left by the California legends with their own brand of Desert Rawk on their third full-length, Killers.
“Cloven Hoof” is like polished self-titled QOTSA record with Nick Oliveri’s restrained maniac behind the mic but expands into so much more when the chorus hits with some fantastical keys making the music more magical. When I first heard the track in November of 2020 I was instantly enthralled, mesmerized by the hypnotic chorus and enamored with everything else and fans of all things RAWK will feel the same way with the rest of what’s to come in Killers.
“Polaroid” is a grinding stomper accented by Kristofer Petross’ resounding throttling of the skins, spaced out shredding riffs, and Dust Chapin’s captivating vocals while “Death Ray” gets a little kooky, pondering what would happen if The B-52’s started a Desert Rawk outfit. The Violent Femmes get paid tribute to as a particularly rousing rendition of “Gone Daddy Gone” enters next and later, “Snake Oil” conjures up a gnarly slab of psychedelic sludge with some of the nastiest riffs from Chapin and Scott Anderson.
“Tightrope” is a straight up rawker, driven by big grooves and all the cowbell you could ever need from Petross and then “Pink Robots” gets its’ eerie on for a groovy ditty that succinctly stomps and “Silverking” is a thumper featuring Cody Isaman’s low end paired perfectly with Petross for some smooth rhythmic synchronicity. Then we get to a gargantuan grand finale with “San Pedro Winter” which is the best modern day Kyuss track never recorded. At almost eight minutes, this sprawling beastie is Desert Rawk at its’ finest with swirling, punching guitar attacks from Chapin and Anderson with Dust’s especially spacey vox leading to an all around mega jam where the guitar solos are flying accented by menacing bass rumbles and some particularly primal percussion from Isaman and Petross respectively for a crushing end to one crushing record.
Killers arrives on September 3rd through Coffin & Bolt Records. Pre-orders are up now and can be nabbed by heading here or here. For the latest on Stone Deaf, follow them across the information superhighway when you head here, here, or here.