‘Songs For The Deaf’: Give This Older Album A Listen


Interscope Records

Queens Of The Stone Age released their third studio album ‘Songs For The Deaf’ on Aug 27, 2002

Nick BeDan, Staff Writer

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rock genre was in a somewhat resurrected state, but one band remade a genre that has not been heard since 1995 called ‘stoner rock.’ The band that originally created stoner rock was the band Kyuss. However, the band Queens of the Stone Age brought back that sound, and their third album “Songs for the Deaf,” was remastered on Vinyl Me, Please. Let’s see how it sounds 20 years later. 

After the breakup of Kyuss, Joshua Homme, the original guitarist of Kyuss, would go on to create Queens of the Stone Age, with the band’s first two albums doing decently well and getting reasonable radio play. However, Homme wanted to make a dream team lineup for an upcoming album, to which he came up with Dave Grohl, Joshua Homme, Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri, and Troy Van Leeuwen. 

When Homme had all the artists together, he decided he wanted to make an album based on something he did during his days playing with Kyuss: A loose concept album, a trip through the California desert from LA to Joshua Tree National Park. The album consistently references drugs within the songs and the album in general, along with breakup references. In an interview with Middle 8, Homme said, “The album isn’t just based on a Sunday drive through the California desert, it’s also about a person getting away from it all, hoping to be able to reset their life.”

“Songs for the Deaf” consists of thirteen songs and two hidden songs — songs found on an album that aren’t credited on the tracklist — so to be able to hear them all you need a patient ear.  Each song represents a city or town along the way during the trip. The album starts off with somebody getting into a car and tuning to random radio stations, however nothing comes on until a fake radio station comes on called KLON radio, hosted by Kip Kasper, where he introduces the first song on the track. 

As the album continues on, we can see how messed up this person’s life is. They are a heroin and cocaine addict, they are losing touch with everyone they know, and there are suicidal themes. The instruments used have the Mids and Trebles on 10, the distortion and fuzz pedals are used in nearly every song, with Homme’s falsetto added as the cherry on top, however “Mosquito Song,” one of the band’s hidden tracks, is different, but its one of the better examples of the suicidal theme, because it alludes to how all humans here on Earth have meaningless lives and that we suffer everyday, as shown in the lyrics “All of us food / That hasn’t died.”

Even though the album is depressing, here are 3 songs to listen to if you want to go deaf.

Go With The Flow

This song has a riff that would blow the speakers out of anybody’s car. The guitar has random fills within the verses that make you feel like the guitar strings are about to snap, but the catchy and groovy chorus is what gets everybody: “I can go / With the flow / Don’t you say it doesn’t matter / With the flow.” The song is about a woman who goes from one man to the next, one of the reasons why the said person is traveling the highway to Joshua Tree, running away from their problems, but it gets your adrenaline flowing. It’s the definition of driving 132mph down I-25.

Do it Again

As one of the least popular songs on the album, this is a jackpot of a listen. The main riff is slow, but the song feels as though it’s talking to you personally, like it was this person’s fault for leaving you, such as this verse, “I fall over and over, and over, over, over on you / I get ill, I get ill, I get ill, you’re the only one I’m into.” The chorus is full blown ear candy; the riff makes you feel indestructible.

No One Knows

The definitive single of the band, it has a groovy, bluesy riff with the vocals to match, making it different and not as heavy as the rest of the album, making it more noticeable to radio stations to play it more. However, the wailing whole-band solo, with Grohl, Homme, Leeuwen, and Oliveri terrorizing their instruments, is the definition of speaker-breaker.

The album in itself is a great experience for those who want something heavy. Queens of the Stone Age is one of the most underrated bands of the century, and some of their other good work includes their sophomore album Rated R, and their self-titled album. But other bands that have a Queens of the Stone Age sound are the Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, and the Arctic Monkeys. “Songs for the Deaf” was way out of its era; it was a new sound coming into a world filled with other types of music. It stands out from the rest, it is an amazing thing to listen to, and you can find it on all music platforms.