It's ironic that Kyuss, a band with a sound built around stoner grooves, science-fiction imagery, and thunderous guitar riffs, would now be seen as ahead of its time. But had the group, which released four critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing albums before folding in 1995, released 1994's Welcome To Sky Valley today, it would surely reap the rewards enjoyed by such musical brethren and descendants as Monster Magnet. Kyuss' records never caught on when they were released, but if nothing else, they still sound awesome today. So what better time for many of the group's key members to reunite and reclaim what's theirs? Queens Of The Stone Age, which, for all practical purposes, is Kyuss minus lead singer John Garcia, may just do that: The trio's self-titled debut stays true to the Kyuss formula, keeping the focus on bandleader and songwriter Josh Homme's taut guitar thunder. Like its parent band, Queens Of The Stone Age builds complex epics out of seemingly simple ingredientsbrash riffs, a few effects, Alfredo Hernandez's pummeling drumsbut its album doesn't stretch out quite so much. Kyuss' records tend to sprawl out a bit more, and this one is a bit simpler and more compact. One factor may be that Homme's lead vocals aren't as muscular or versatile as Garcia's, leaving more of a need to prioritize simple, searing instrumental tonnage. But whether Queens Of The Stone Age is delivering focused, jacked-up rock songs ("Regular John") or longer, jacked-up rock songs ("You Can't Quit Me Baby"), the album is worthy of its pedigree. Here's hoping more Monster Magnet fans discover Kyuss as a result of its success.