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Rock of the Stone Age

It's so silly to call Queens of the Stone Age a "stoner rock" band. The act crafts bone-crushingly brilliant rock that sounds great on the radio. In other words, these guys _ core members singer-guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri _ write big, fat hooks. So what if the songs are sometimes odes to pharmaceuticals; consider the chorus of The Feel Good Hit of the Summer, which goes, "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy, and alcohol."

Last year's landmark Songs for The Deaf features a bevy of important guest musicians, including powerhouse drummer and Foo Fightin' man Dave Grohl, Dean Ween, and ex-Screaming Tree singer Mark Lanegan. The disc is more real-deal rock and roll, the kind you feel fine about throwing up the ol' three-fingered devil horn salute to, yet it's got song craft. Who could ask for anything more?

Queens of the Stone Age perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Twilight, 1507 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16. (813) 247-4225.

_ GINA VIVINETTO, Times pop music critic