Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
Critic Score
Based on 49 reviews
2013 Ratings: #45 / 1115
Year End Rank: #18
User Score
2013 Rank: #2All Time: #165
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An album truly fit to do battle with the rock classics of any age.

Homme has marshaled all of his strengths on ...Like Clockwork and has found a way forward, a way to deepen his music without compromising his identity.

Entertainment Weekly
Stoner-rock heavyweight Josh Homme shows no ring rust on QOTSA's first new album in six years.
Northern Transmissions

…Like Clockwork is everything Queens of the Stone Age fans could have asked for. The musicianship is insane. The lyrics are at times loose and entertaining, and other times are heartfelt and emotional.

A.V. Club

As if he’s following the path laid down by so many of his ’70s rock heroes, Homme is entering a new decade with a crisp, borderline robotic update of his band’s sound. 


With all its sonic diversity, consistency and precision, ...Like Clockwork is an impressive step in the right direction.

God Is in the TV
Josh Homme sat by the ocean, on the edge of a cliff, while deciding that the bullshit we had to pretend to stomach was too much to keep down. ‘…Like Clockwork’ wakes you up, raises the bar, then punches you in the face.
Louder Than War
So many moods perfectly executed- this is a great rock album and sets the standard for the now.
Classic Rock
Their rejuvenating effects make this the most rounded and melodic QOTSA album in a decade, a triumph snatched from the mortuary doors.

It should go without saying but it needs to said: this is an intricate, jarring and complicated piece of work and is undeniably brilliant.

The Needle Drop

With ...Like Clockwork, Queens of The Stone Age pulls together their dreariest album yet, but don't forget to deliver plenty of badass alt rock numbers in the process.

Metal Injection
It’s been a long, long wait and I think it was worth it.
No Ripcord

All the personalities put themselves in the background to let the songs shine and the moods are laid out in such a manner with the music that the flow is nearly perfect. ...Like Clockwork is easily the best release from the band since Songs for the Deaf.


The crap filter has been whacked up to 11 and the groove-o-tron set to interstellar for the band’s slickest offering to date.


It’s the one of the best QOTSA records to date. It also might be the first rock release of the dystopian blog-eat-blog era capable of recapturing the idea of music as a shared experience—that is, there are a lot of people waiting to get their ears in it.


I called them solid and dependable previously and that sense of solidness is the first thing that comes across on ...Like Clockwork. They are a Volvo of a band, reliable, they will not let you down.

The Independent
It's his band's most musically diverse effort.

Despite the distinct swerve in direction, there are still numerous killer blows to be found on …Like Clockwork.


Like Clockwork may have been wrought from turmoil, what it delivers is the sound of Queens Of The Stone Age back at the top of their game.

NOW Magazine
Song for song, however, this is the best QOTSA album in a decade, delivering all the swagger and skew of their greatest work without rehashing it.
Evening Standard
Sir Elton’s presence isn’t the only surprise on QOTSA’s first new record in six years: the music has changed dramatically. The Vampyre of Time and Memory is a bluesy, piano-led ballad, while the title track showcases frontman Josh Homme’s soulful falsetto.

This is tension, then more tension, then even more tension on the chorus until your subconscious has been thoroughly scrambled; only then does release come, usually in the form of a gnarled guitar solo.

The Guardian
The album is dominated by Homme's razor-sharp songwriting, which ranges from the robotic pulse of If I Had a Tail to the succinct thud of My God Is the Sun and the wickedly infectious Smooth Sailing.
It's arguably the most potent lineup since Josh Homme put QOTSA together in 1996, and it's embellished on the band's sixth studio album by guests.
Alternative Press
Surrendering to its strange charms could be one of the smartest decisions you make this year.
Beats Per Minute

Now on the other side of forty, this is QOTSA as weary of mortality as they’ve ever been. They also sound as vital, forceful and rough around the edges as they have in over a decade

Rolling Stone

Make no mistakes, though: . . . Like Clockwork still runs on Homme's grizzled-dude-against-the-world intensity


With Mark Lanegan and even former bass player Nick Oliveri contributing as well, there's been much talk of a return to the Songs for the Deaf-era line-up and, some fans hoped, sound. That's not the case, but …Like Clockwork is definitely their best offering since that paranoid classic.

The Skinny

A mature, heart-on-sleeve epic, and an acute reminder that we’re still in the midst of a master.

The Line of Best Fit

By having faith that his songwriting ability would stand up to being thrust into unchartered musical territory, he’s overseen the making of a tight album that has a cohesiveness that belies how open it is to new – and genuinely exciting – ideas.

The Fly

The real magic here is that, despite expanding their sonic remit further than ever, Queens Of The Stone Age are still the same peerless band, indebted only to themselves.

Q Magazine

...Like Clockwork is a return to form.

FACT Magazine

There is something to be said of a band that can tap so many musical icons without ceding the spotlight or deviating from a plan of action: this is still a Queens of the Stone Age record (with friends).

Consequence of Sound

 …Like Clockwork is one of the year’s finer rock albums — an exercise in songwriting, production, and musicianship.

The Irish Times
A generous smattering of heavy-duty riffs sates the appetite for rock, Homme effortlessly modulating his voice to suit each song's tone. All in all, this is QOTSA's most interesting album in years.
Spectrum Culture

On …Like Clockwork, a wide array of influences and guests allow Homme and company to explore their interest in pop while showing off their penchant for complex and heavy instrumentation.

The 405

...Like Clockwork, despite its troubled genesis and dark subject matter, sounds rejuvenated and triumphant.


...Like Clockwork simply foregrounds an aspect that’s been lingering in the Queens’ music since the beginning: beneath all that volcanic riffage, Homme has always been a sucker for a pretty pop song.


While it really can't compete with those first few, groundbreaking QOTSA classics, the album does restore the natural order of the band's evolutionary creative arc.

Crack Magazine
This album's name is presumably a wry reference to its prolonged gestation, but in fact the record itself feels curiously reliable and effective; like very good songs knocked out by an astounding talent, just like clockwork.

...Like Clockwork is the sound of the band, oddly, albeit entertainingly unsettled.

Still flaunting in the grunge realm, the overall result is tough, yet accessible, including some deeper moments.

This is a record that feels more loose and laid-back, which is appropriate for a group that’s getting back together after a few years off.

Drowned in Sound

It's not entirely successful, but also it's far from a failure - and it's certainly a unique piece of art that shouldn't be dismissed after the first or second listen.

Under the Radar

...Like Clockwork is an irreverent turn for the ever-irreverent Queens, and I don't mind at all the ambitious, new, not-so-Queens ideas. But perhaps a little minimalism—not stretching so many of those ideas to close to or more than five minutes—would make this an infinitely more enjoyable ride. 

The Observer
With this album, you'll be scrabbling for a lyric sheet because Homme seems so uncharacteristically unmoored.
The Arts Desk
Homme remains at his best when using his expressive voice to camp it up a little.
Record Collector

QOTSA can still devastate and his lyrics still tread that delicious line between romance and nihilism, but ...Like Clockwork either runs too slickly, or the mechanism feels forced.

Pretty Much Amazing

These minor virtues aside, …Like Clockwork is a droning, incoherent endeavor, and it simply doesn’t reward the attention it’s asking for.


QOTSA's magnum opus.

Queens of the Stone Age are probably one of my favorite bands when it comes to the "hard rock" genre in the past 20 years, (although this thing is much more than just hard rock). However, somehow this album flew over my head completely when I listened to it about a year ago. But with more listens, I realized how brilliant and potent it is, and it's pretty much the album that got me into Queens of the Stone Age in the first place.

This is the band's 6th studio ... read more


Happy 10th to one of my favorite records of all time from possibly my favorite rock outfit of all time.

I've been a QOTSA fan since maybe early-mid 2017, right around the time where "Villains", this album's follow-up, was being to be rolled out with singles like "The Evil Has Landed" and "The Way You Used To Do". I remember fondly that this used to be my favorite record of all time around sophomore year of high-school. Everything from the textures to the ... read more


Shit, I don’t really know where to begin with this.

So exactly one year ago I wrote a review for this album that went like this:

“Good lord this went way harder on the second playthrough, loved every minute of it. I'm not that familiar with QotSA's earlier discography, but this definitely seems like them approaching near perfection of their craft.”

This was around the time of when I first joined AOTY, and to provide some context the day I wrote that review it was snowing ... read more


Songwriting: A
Instrumentals: A
Catchiness: A
Mixing/Production: A


The album doesn't stop slaying track after track. It lays down a clear message left by Queens of the Stone Age that for even a newcomer like myself will be thoroughly impressed and invested in what they bring to the table.


My only problem with this album is that I couldn't headband to my god is the sun as much as I wanted to because my headphones kept falling off. that's not a joke it was pissing me the fuck off

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Added on: April 8, 2013