November 13, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

This male power trio, made up of refugees from cult metal band Kyuss, delivers a workmanlike collection of heavy music that’s just a bit too cerebral to fall under the stoner-rock rubric (Fu Manchu). Queens of the Stone Age is intermittently potent, but when you hear the ripped-off ”If Only” (a.k.a. the Stooges’ ”I Wanna Be Your Dog),” you can’t help but think QOTSA might be a great band — if only they could write a song that good on their own. B-

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