“It’s your seventh record – who cares?!” asked Josh Homme of QOTSA’s Villains. An attempt to answer that question led his heavy rock crew to the door of Uptown Funk and Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson. The result is not “QOTSA go pop”, but Ronson’s fresh ears do bring out the playfulness in their mean and muscular, feline and sensual sound, adding an extra-rubbery bounce to their rhythms on the likes of The Way You Used to Do. Homme plays up to the high jinks, bringing a Cramps-like Hammer horror theatricality to Head Like a Haunted House. It’s a bold, fun gamble, and one with ample winnings.
Emily is a subeditor for the Observer and writes about music. Twitter: @EmilyRoseMackay