Homme returned to his old stomping grounds and reunited with latter day Kyuss drummer Alfredo Hernandez to record as a fake trio (bass player “Carlo Von Sexron” is a nom-de-boom for Homme) and QOTSA came into full bloom. If this re-issue doesn’t document “hour zero,” it’s only a few minutes past. “Regular John” introduces Homme as a smooth and assured vocalist with great melodic instinct. Tracks like “Avon” and “Walkin On Sidewalks” lock into heavy riffs that are in entrancing in their repetition and subtle shifts. And it’s hard to believe that insistently catchy “How To Handle A Rope” didn’t make a greater impact on mainstream radio upon its initial release. Amidst the mid-fi riffage and willful experimentalism of an artist forging a new sound for himself are some killer guitar melodies that could have easily come from 1971, 1991 or 2011. And that’s part of the timelessness of this unassuming debut album. QOTSA can only truly be classified as a “rock band;” Any attempt to narrow that down further would be to neglect the scope of Homme’s broad body of work and the band’s wide-reaching appeal.
This Rekords Rekords re-issue, in conjunction with Domino, has been fully remastered from the original tapes and has been expanded by three tracks. “The Bronze” & “These Aren’t the Droids Your Looking For” (from the split EP from ‘98) and “Spiders and Vinegaroons” which was part of the posthumous Kyuss/QOTSA split EP.