Between Mondo Generator's debut, 2000's Cocaine Rodeo, and their sophomore effort, 2003's A Drug Problem That Never Existed, the stakes had been raised considerably. Leader Nick Oliveri's main gig, Queens of the Stone Age, had finally broken on through to the mainstream with their stellar 2002 effort, Songs for the Deaf, so expectations for Drug Problem definitely ran high. But with a stellar supporting cast that contained much of the QOTSA posse (Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, Joey Castillo, etc.) and equipped with a strong set of raw, Motörhead-worthy material, Oliveri hit the nail right on the head. If you're expecting an album as diverse as the average QOTSA release, you may be disappointed. But if it's an album chock-full of the aggro punk metal that became Oliveri's trademark on R and Songs for the Deaf ("Tension Head," "Six Shooter," etc.), then you're in luck, as evidenced by such standouts as "Here We Come," "So High, So Low," and "F.Y. I'm Free." That said, Oliveri does sneak in a surprise or two, such as the acoustic guitar-based, Wild West-sounding "All I Can Do" and "Detroit," a heartfelt tribute to Oliveri's late grandfather. But the best is saved for last, as ex-Screaming Trees/part-time QOTSA frontman Mark Lanegan guests on the poignant album closer, "Four Corners." A Drug Problem That Never Existed proves once and for all that there's much more to Oliveri than merely being a bass player.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato