Funny Little Boxes Skeleton Key review – Josh Homme’s Queens of the Stone Age tones in a box?

The Skeleton Key is an op-amp distortion pedal that claims to hold the secret to Josh Homme’s guitar sound – but whatever you do, don’t tell anyone. We’re keeping this to ourselves, right?

Funny Little Boxes Skeleton Key pedal
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

The saying goes that tone is all in the hands, but in this case, you can place a large percentage of it at your feet. This is a distortion pedal with a heavy drive voicing and a distinctive QOTSA flavor.


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    It gets the vibe right.

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    And it's a nice dynamic pedal.

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    Cool enclosure art from QOTSA artist Boneface.

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    Top-mounted jacks.

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    The price.


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    6-8 week lead time on orders.

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You might remember Funny Little Boxes for its excellent 1991 pedal, which delivers the sound of Pearl Jam’s Ten in a box. Well, now, FLB founder Andy Ilgunas and YouTube channel Let’s Play All’s Matt Webster have once again collaborated, with their sights set on recreating one of modern rock’s most revered, yet hard-to-approximate guitar tones: Queens of the Stone Age.

That’s quite a blanket description given Josh Homme’s blueprint has graced eight studio albums and dozens of side-project releases. So which is the Skeleton Key gunning for? 

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Stuart Williams

Stuart is a freelancer for Guitar World and heads up Total Guitar magazine's gear section. He formerly edited Total Guitar and Rhythm magazines in the UK and has been playing guitar and drums for over two decades (his arms are very tired). When he's not working on the site, he can be found gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.