I’ve listened to this record three whole times now. Three.
Each time, I’ve tried really hard to have an opinion about it. My emotions have run the gamut from bored sighs to bemused tuts and frowns. Nothing about it has left much of an impression on me, besides how unimpressive it is. Even Josh Homme sounds bored of his music.
There certainly are some rock songs here, I’ll give them that. Ten of them. That doesn’t just happen by accident, fellows. These are very highly-polished and well-rounded songs too, as polished and as symmetrical and rounded as Dave Grohl’s adorable chipmunk-cheeked bum—and, lacking any identifiable edges, seams, or holes, just as difficult to get any purchase on.
In isolation, the songs all seem decent enough. One or two might even lodge in your head for a bit; that is, until something a bit more memorable, something packing a bit more ferocity comes along to knock it flying. Like this:
In summary, by the end of Like Clockwork I just felt disappointed and really sleepy, because despite hundreds of guest musician appearances, nobody thought to include any cats playing banjos.
Like a gleaming 20-foot tall solid bronze egg delivered to your front garden without explanation while you sleep, this record is irritating and perplexing both. Who asked for this? How do we get it to go away again? Can the postman even get through?
I guess that’s my problem, though, not QOTSA’s, and certainly not yours. Not everything has to be made for me. I can’t pretend I hate Like Clockwork, and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would give a shit about it, either. But if you do, that’s great. Let’s get KFC.