Operation Desert Sessions
Even the hardest of rockers need to take a rock’n’roll vacation once in a while. Since 1997, Josh Homme has been taking regular retreats from Queens of the Stone Age to his Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, California, each time accompanied by a group of friends and fellow musicians for a relaxed jam session. These Desert Sessions have grown to now rival QOTSA’s own discography, and Ipecac Records has decided to release the most recent offering, The Desert Sessions Vol. 9 & 10.This time Homme is joined by some familiar faces (Desert Session regular Chris Goss and new QOTSA drummer Joey Castillo) as well as some talented guests like Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez, of Marilyn Manson and A Perfect Circle), Dean Ween and PJ Harvey. For the most part, Vol. 9 & 10 offer what could be a collection of QOTSA b-sides and rarities, capturing the rock that Hommes and crew are best known for on songs like “Dead In Love” and the spastic “Covered In Punk’s Blood”. Yet the real hook of this album are the songs that depart from the QOTSA sound. PJ Harvey helps bring this session into new territory with the handful of songs that she contributes her voice to, especially her ghostly vocals on “Powdered Wig Machine.” Nor can the listener overlook Ween’s crucial influence on the instrumental funk of “Subcutaneous Phat.” These guest contributions combined with Homme’s craftsmanship prove once again that innovative artists willing to depart from formulas tried and true will always be received as a success.