Queens of the Stone Age is a Hard Rock group from the Palm Desert Scene, formed in 1995 by guitarist Josh Homme after his previous band Kyuss disbanded. Originally titled Gamma Ray, they were forced to change their name after a threat of legal action from an already existing band. The name comes from a joke made by one of Kyuss's producers, but Homme has since given a different rationale behind it.The group started out by releasing two split CDs: one of the leftover Kyuss tracks and another with the group Beaver. The new material on those CDs and their first official album, Queens of the Stone Age in 1998, showed Josh Homme slowly breaking away from the musical stylings of Kyuss and coming into his own as an independent musician. However, the group found its identity with the release of Rated R in 2000, a mellower and more varied (but none-the-less hard) mix of stoner rock, grunge/alternative, classic rock and just a touch of heavy metal (with a few unorthodox musical experiments here and there, such as the use of steel drums in one song). The band solidified their newfound sense of identity with Songs For the Deaf in 2002. Largely abandoning their Stoner Rock origins in favor of a more accessible Hard Rock sound, it's a critically acclaimed album with the Grammy-nominated songs "No One Knows" and "Go With the Flow" (which also found their ways into Guitar Hero and Rock Band, respectively). It is their best selling album and the only one with platinum certification.The group followed up with Lullabies to Paralyze in 2005 (named after a lyric from the track "Mosquito Song" from the previous album) and Era Vulgaris in 2007. While both have been given good press and each had a Grammy nominated song, they are neither as successful or as highly regarded as Songs For the Deaf (although Lullabies was a top-five album while Songs was not).After a six-year break, ...Like Clockwork was released on June 3rd, 2013 to massive acclaim.Josh Homme is also part of the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones.
Call Back: At the end of "The Sky is Falling," a DJ at KRNL ("We ruin music for everyone!") announces that the next song he's going to play is "Millionaire" by Queens of the Stone Age, which was the first track on the album. The station is changed before the song begins again.
Call Forward: "A Song For the Deaf" plays in the background of the DJ's introduction to "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire."
"Millionaire" was actually the name of the demo version of You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar...
In "Fairweather Friends" (on ...Like Clockwork), as in "Walkin' on the Sidewalks" (on their debut, Queens of the Stone Age), the narrator wants to escape the cares of the world with his girlfriend to "drink wine and screw."
"Long Slow Goodbye" references the closing track of every previous QOTSA album and foreshadows the next one:
The rhythmic telephone beeping references "I Was a Teenage Hand Model."
The presence of a post-song horn section references "I Think I Lost My Headache."
The melody of the horn section is similar to the horns in "Mosquito Song."
The melody of the horns also harmonizes with the outro of "Running Joke," the closer on some versions of Era Vulgaris.
"Six Shooter" could be considered one, if you take its short one-minute length into account.
Concept Album: Songs For the Deaf uses fake radio bumpers and the changing of stations as a framing device. It might also explain the heavily compressed audio, but whether it's intentional or just another victim of the Loudness War is unknown. Each song on the album represents a different radio station the protagonist turns to as he drives ("You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" is the 'screamo' station, "God is in the Radio" is a religious radio station, etc).
Lullabies to Paralyze is (loosely) a concept album as well, described by Josh Homme as "starting in the darkness and reaching for the light." In this way it mirrors Songs For the Deaf, which starts out relatively light but ends up incredibly dark (the final few songs are some of the band's grimmest, with the last being a disturbing tale of cannibalism).
...Like Clockwork may be a concept album as well, (seemingly) telling the story of a man recruited into an apocalyptic cult shortly before the end of the world.
Cover Version: A cover of The Kinks' "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" appears at the end of the UK/Japan limited edition version of Songs For The Deaf. At one point they even did "Who'll Be The Next In Line."
Darker and Edgier: Lullabies To Paralyze was this to some extent. It was decidedly darker and more sinister-sounding than the previous three QOTSA albums, no doubt due in part to all the turmoil surrounding Nick Oliveri's firing a year before its release.
Songs for the Deaf was considerably darker than Rated R and the Self-Titled Album. The overall tone is a lot more grim, with songs like "Song for the Dead," "Go With the Flow," and "God is in the Radio" having a dark, ominous sort of groove to them. There's also a song about cannibalism.
And Lullabies to Paralyze was even darker than Songs for the Deaf.
The band took it Up to Eleven with ...Like Clockwork, which is easily their darkest and most brooding album yet.
Drugs Are Bad: Generally averted, as Homme has shades of The Hedonist and did, after all, write "Feel Good Hit of the Summer." But Oliver's severe drug problems ended up being part of what got him thrown out (the other part was his habit of beating his girlfriend), and the cause of his many legal woes, including the infamous SWAT standoff.
Dude Sounds Like A Lady: Josh can hit some pretty feminine sounding high notes in songs like "I Never Came" and "In My Head" and Troy can do some feminine sounding backing vocals. Especially on and "Make it Wit Chu" and "Smooth Sailing" where his backing vocals seriously sound like a woman.
Epic Rocking: "Someone's In the Wolf" (7:15), and "I Think I Lost My Headache" (8:40), along with several other songs lasting the better part of 6 minutes.
During early performances, songs on the Self-Titled Album were expanded drastically. Some performances of "You Can't Quit Me Baby" lasted nearly twenty minutes.
Keet: Michael, the bassist. Seriously, just look how hyper he is. Although, if you don't want to look, all you need to know is that on stage, he constantly headbangs and shakes his body like crazy all over the place.
Knuckle Tattoos: Josh Homme has the name of his grandparents, Cap and Cam, tattooed on his knuckles 
He now has the initials of his son, Orrin Ryder Homme, on the lower knuckles of his right hand.
Lighter and Softer: Arguably Era Vulgaris compared to Lullabies To Paralyze, as the album was considerably more catchy and less grim-sounding (...with the exception of "Sick Sick Sick"). Also Rated R compared to the band's S/T album.
"Make It Wit Chu" in Era Vulgaris is surely not the song you'd expect from this band. It's definitely their lightest song yet.
On the music end, "A Song For the Deaf" has the line "The blind can go get fucked..."
Subverted at the very end of "Fairweather Friends," which censors its would-be swear word with a beep. The actual album (...Like Clockwork) is a Double-Subversion, as the very next song, "Smooth Sailing," ends its first verse with the line "Fuckin' bon voyage!"
Soprano and Gravel: "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire" alternates between screamed and sung vocals.
Stable Time Loop: The ...Like Clockwork videos are this. The man from I Appear Missing is killed by the man from Kalopsia, who's killed by the man from Keep Your Eyes Peeled, who's killed by the woman from If I Had a Tail, and then they're all killed again by the... whatever it is in the My God Is the Sun video. And then the man from I Appear Missing is back where he started...
The Stoner: Subverted, Josh was a stoner at one point in his life, but he quit. Though, in the early 2000s at least, it was kind of hard to believe he wasn't stoned off his ass with moments like this.
Title Track: "A Song for the Deaf," "Era Vulgaris," "...Like Clockwork"
Word Salad Lyrics: At least half of their songs are comprised entirely of this, while others have snippets thrown in. In fact, Josh Homme himself has mentioned that he often writes lyrics in a deliberately vague manner so that the listener can interpret them in any way he/she chooses.