Queens of the Stone Age, Throw Rag

Queens of the Stone Age fans had reason for concern when bassist Nick Oliveri left the band in February 2004. The bald, bearded freak was the psycho to singer-guitarist Josh Homme's straight man; Oliveri added an off-kilter ingredient that put the Queens one step ahead of other stoner-rock bands. Since his departure, the band's sense of humor has diminished in the upcoming Lullabies to Paralyze, but fortunately, Homme hasn't lost his knack for a great riff, and although openers Eagles of Death Metal have canceled, their replacement, L.A. rockers Throw Rag, rock just as nicely.

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