I'll lay the cards out on the table, I have never been a huge fan of the Evil Queens (but I've never made a conscious attempt to be into them). I was always turned off by what I thought was a derivative aesthetic; the "heavy" lineage of Columbus grit-rock (Monster Truck 005, Bob City, the Means, Grafton) whittled into radio chunklets and suitable sonics. While there appears to be a enclave of groups in this town (who shall remain nameless), in the last couple of years, who have exploited that legacy to create artistically challenged, not challenging,(and downright awful) results, Lonesome Werewolves, separates the Evil Queens far from their contemporaries. Obvious chooglings, power chords, brutal swells and depressions, are in their proper places, but guitarist/vocalist Jacob Sundemeyer (the architect of this classy bunch) is a master of subtlety, a dynamic character within his songs, and capable of realizing "pop" is needed even in the most ham-fisted of metal moments. To the high-tide Mudhoney informed crunch and maudlin Nirvana-esque hook of "America, America," to visceral booze stomp of "Year of the Cretin," there's little here to mentally edit.
Coincidentally, Queens of the Stone Age's Era Vulgaris leaked the day I got Lonesome Werewolves into my grubby little paws, and since then I've given the local boys more time. Homme is busy inviting in new best buddies and making a veiled attempt at textured groove (you'll never write a Groundhogs album Josh, though this isn't half-bad) instead of becoming fully unleashed. The Evil Queen's are content making that music for him. Here it's not desert and horse, it's cramped dive bars and hard liquor.
The Evil Queens will be celebrating the release of Lonesome Werewolves on Saturday, the 27th. Cafe Bourbon St. Bring a flask.