Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has been trying to escape from the "stoner rock" pigeonhole for the better part of the last decade. The band's latest offering, Era Vulgaris, offers the tasty hard rock riffage and sweet swirling melodies that QotSA fans have come to know, love and expect, now infused with spooky shadows and electronic underpinnings that send the songs in a darker direction, sort of a sonic demilitarized zone equidistant from Nitzer Ebb and Black Sabbath. This may just be what happens naturally when you put one of the drummers from Danzig (Joey Castillo), one of the guitarists from A Perfect Circle (Troy Van Leeuwen) and one of the architects of the "desert rock" genre (Chris Goss) together in the same room. The guitars still chug like locomotive engines and sting like dentist drills. The drums still pound thickly. The chants ("Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, alcohol!") are still as catchy as venereal disease ("Plastic, plastic, battery acid!"). But this time around there's a little more mascara in the mix. Queens of the Stone Age perform 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues, 200 N. Lamar St. Tickets are $25, $36 and $50. Call 214-978-2583 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Sun., Sept. 16, 7 p.m.