Queens of the Stone Age

Bands That Sound (Almost) Exactly Like Queens of the Stone Age

After Josh Homme left Kyuss, he didn’t waste any time sitting around. Soon after, Queens of the Stone Age was born. After a jaw-rattling eponymous first album, Homme and the latest lineup of rotating musicians penned Rated R, a bluesy, poppy, accessible version of Queens of the Stone Age that helped catapult the band into stardom. By the time they released Songs for the Dead, they were on the radio constantly. 

Queens of the Stone Age established themselves as some of the best in the business, and that meant one thing: imitators. 

Queens of the Stone Age Sound-alikes

The band has had dozens of imitators over the years. But like Coca-Cola and RC, there’s just something about the original that’s hard to beat. Still, there are some bands out there that are getting the QOTSA sound right. Here’s a sampling:

Deaf Radio


“Aggravation” is the opening track on the first album by Deaf Radio. The QOTSA influence is evident right from the beginning.

Album to listen to: Alarm
Reminiscent of: Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R, Songs for the Dead, Era Vulgaris
Band Bio: Deaf Radio made our list of one of the best Stoner Rock acts to recently come out of Greece, and we’re excited because the band recently released two new singles (which may mean were soon in store for a sophomore treat). The discipleship to Queens of the Stone Age is obvious from the first riff of the first song on their first album, Alarm. Even the layered, droning vocals are reminiscent of Josh Homme and Co. 

Witchrider


Witchrider’s debut album Unmountable Stairs owes a lot to Queens of the Stone Age.

Album to listen to: Unmountable Stairs, Witchrider EP
Reminiscent of: Rated R, Songs for the Dead, Lullabies to Paralyze
Band Bio: Hailing from Graz, Austria, Witchrider are obvious Queens of the Stone Age fans. They’re such big fans of the Desert Rock scene, they originally called themselves Desert Mountain after the Desert Sessions. While that’s cool enough, the origins of Witchrider’s name is even cooler: It comes from “riding the witch,” a term used to describe fighting through sleep paralysis. You’ll find plenty of trippy, haunting tones in Witchrider’s work, but you’ll definitely hear Queens of the Stone Age as well. 

Black Book Lodge


Someone on Reddit sang Black Book Lodge’s praises while we were researching this article, so we had to see how well the band fits. They do—on select tracks.

Album to listen to: Tundra
Reminiscent of: Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Dead
Band Bio: It’s hard to pin down Black Book Lodge in only a few sentences. The Danish rockers published Tunda in 2014, and they’ve been giving the world a unique rock-metal hybrid ever since. Tundra sounds like early Queens of the Stone Age layered in Doom Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Metal, and the slightest hint of Eastern influences. We’ll be honest: Most of Black Book Lodge’s catalog doesn’t belong on this list—hell, even a lot of Tundra doesn’t belong here—but there are moments where you would swear Josh Homme was working his magic in the recordings. 

Ultima Radio


Ultima Radio can rock with the best of them, and they’re the most unique on this list because they’re unafraid to move in new directions.

Album to Listen to: Ultima Radio – EP, A Thousand Shapes
Reminiscent of: Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Dead
Band Bio: Austrian compatriots to Witchrider (and fellow Graz-natives), Ultima Radio has traveled down a darker path. While they sound more like older Queens of the Stone Age, they also add elements of psychedelia you may find in later Kyuss or any Sleep album. Putting it simply: Ultima Radio isn’t afraid to experiment. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear the riff on “Plea” to show up on a track from Rage Against the Machine or Red Hot Chili Peppers, and “Morroccan Honey” is a genuine hip-rocking aphrodisiac. 

Honorable Mention

Look, we can’t get through this article without pointing out an obvious fact: Homme has played with nearly everyone in the business. That means his influence spans far and wide—and QOTSA’s does as well. 

It would take us quite some time to talk about all of Homme’s projects (and we’ve already done a piece on bands that owe much of their success to Kyuss members, which would make a rather similar article). 

To abbreviate this post somewhat, let’s talk about the biggest standout (and avoid going down rabbit holes like Eagles of Death Metal or Mondo Generator): 

Them Crooked Vultures

Good if you like: Villians, …Like Clockwork, Lullabies to Paralyze
Band Bio: If you don’t already know, Them Crooked Vultures is a rock trio consisting of perhaps three of the most influential musicians in the last 40 years of music: Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and Queens of the Stone Age star Josh Homme. While they definitely sound a garage rock version of Queens of the Stone Age in recent years, you’ll find heavy elements of Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin as well. Unfortunately, they only put out on record, and it’s not clear if we’ll ever get to enjoy another. 

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