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The opening one-two of Feel Good Hit Of The Summer and Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret is still QOTSA’s most infectious moment to date.
Feel Good Hit is the song that nearly got Rated R pulled from sale by several major American retailers, most notably Wal-Mart. It’s not surprising to be honest; the lyrics are essentially just a repeated list of drugs (nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, alcohol and cocaine to be precise).
Actually drugs are a fairly important reference point when discussing Rated R. The repeated references to illicit substances, and Homme’s background in Kyuss, often means that Rated R gets labelled as a stoner rock album.
But the desert rock scene that sprang up around Palm Desert at the turn of the millennium is actually a bold step away from those ‘90s stoner roots. The meticulously tight riffs of Kyuss are still present, but Rated R is more eclectic, emotive and edgier than its roots.
Right from the opening Feel Good Hit is clearly set apart from the slow, grungy riffs of stoner music. With its punk rock bassline and urgent drum build-ups there’s the kind of energy to the song that you just don’t get when you’ve been spending a lot of time with Mary Jane.
The track also features backing vocals from Judas Priest singer Rob Halford who, as the story goes, was recording in the studio next door and was talked into making a vocal cameo.