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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play it several times before judging....
If I'd written this review after the first spin I probably would have given the album 2 stars. However, I've persevered and I'm glad I did. This is a great album but takes a long time to get into. I seem to recall this being the case with most QOTSA stuff (especially the last one 'Era Vulgaris'). There's some great riffs and some unconvential chord changes which pay off...
Published on 11 Jan. 2010 by R. Hynes

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great.
It's so difficult to review this record when, if like me, you love QOTSA, the Foo Fighters and Led Zep. All amazing bands with varied, but consistently brilliant out put.

This, in theory should be a cast iron classic, but for me it slips into the lazier side of Josh Hommes output. Over long songs, fairly tried and tested style and maybe two or three stand out...
Published on 15 July 2010 by Mr. M. L. Hawes


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play it several times before judging...., 11 Jan. 2010
By 
R. Hynes (Wales) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
If I'd written this review after the first spin I probably would have given the album 2 stars. However, I've persevered and I'm glad I did. This is a great album but takes a long time to get into. I seem to recall this being the case with most QOTSA stuff (especially the last one 'Era Vulgaris'). There's some great riffs and some unconvential chord changes which pay off with repeated listens, just don't expect to enjoy it that much the first time around.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A contender for best rock album sneaks in at the end of the decade, 10 Nov. 2009
By 
Karen L. Hutchison "I Rock and Roll" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
(4.5 stars) Them Crooked Vultures, comprised (as you already know) of JPJ, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme, have made arugably the best rock album of the decade. The music twists and turns between the direct, hard hitting songs reminiscent of Qotsa's prime and the sprawling psychedelia of some of Led Zeppelin's more overlooked songs.

The first thing that you notice is Dave Grohl's drumming, which is phenomenal as expected - he is undoubtedly at his best when behind the kit (it's easy to forget he was Nirvana's drummer) as opposed to fronting a band. Picking out highlights is very difficult. Opener 'No One Loves Me...' builds and builds until erupting into a crunching riff, one of Homme's best, and finishing at breackneck speed. Single 'New Fang' sounds unremarkable on first listen, but it (like the album as a whole) rewards numerable listens; it's jagged structure compliments Homme's motormouth vocals(sick, sick, sick springs to mind) perfectly. As a sidenote, Homme's vocals on the album are a triumph; he is able to thrillingly switch between piercing falsetto ('Scumbag Blues') and sleazy drawl ('Gunman'). Anyone who was slightly disappointed by Qotsa's last effort, Era Vulgaris, such as myself will revel in Homme's musicianship on this album as he is back to doing what he did best for Kyuss and does for Qotsa - produce riffs and hooks that alternate between the melodically heavy and the technically difficult. JPJ's bass lines are rumble along with the rhythm ('Reptiles', 'Caligulove') or pull the song along with electrifying results and he can also be found on the keys on several songs which adds a layer of interesting depth. The album itself is long by modern standards; five songs go over 5 minutes. These songs are all epic, swerving pieces of music that capture the feel of the album as a whole. For periods they hit hard before slipping into psychedelic dream-like passages. No where is this more clear than 'Warsaw...' and 'Elephants'; two standouts. Yet a testament to the group's ability is the way in which they can make the short songs just as memorable; 'Reptiles' thunders with a balance of heaviness and melody that is really how 'Run Pig Run' should have sounded and 'Mind Eraser...' skips along with squalling guitars and the added bonus of Grohl on back-up vocals. Lyrics are probably the last thing anyone will notice at first, such is the overwhelming presence of the music and vocals, but Homme comes up with some gems ('Dead End Friends'' thoughtul life as the road metaphor sits nicely against the sexual missives for which he has carved something of a reputation for Qotsa; "She said, 'I got a beautiful place to put your face' - and she was right").

Drawbacks? Admittedly there are a couple. 'Dead End Friends' doesn't quite hit you with the almighty force you would expect if you have seen the live version; the guitar sounds pared down. As for weak songs, there are none that are unlistenable but 'Interludes with Ludes' doesn't quite sit right with the propulsive rhythm of the other songs. Perhaps another of their songs that was played live, 'Highway One', would have been a better choice. And, if we're being picky, it would be nice to have a couple more short songs to break up what Homme dubbed the album's 'battleships' (songs over 5 mins).

Those niggles aside, it has to be put in context what this band has done, however. The 2000s have been starved of clear rock classics (The Strokes' 'Is this it?', Mastodon's 'Leviathan', Qotsa's own 'Rated R' and 'SFTD', White Stripes' 'White Blood Cells', TV on the Radio's '...Cookie Mountain'; any more?) when compared with the 1990s and to have this behemoth of a record appear is an unexpected bonus. While all three are great musiciains there was never a guarantee this would work (think every other 'supergroup'...), which makes this achievement even more impressive. While not an album to be compared, as some were expecting it to be, with rock's all-time greats it nonetheless packs a punch like few albums have so far in this century. It's unclear whether TCV will make another album, but if they do it will be an exciting time for a rock scene which is desperately in need of a leader. And undoubtedly, given the talent involved, there is potential for a classic album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Change of heart, 15 Nov. 2009
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
I have changed my mind. Yes I am not too proud to admit that I was wrong. Now just to show I have not caved into pressure I repeat my initial impression here.

I'm afraid I can't join in with the adulation. This is obviously Josh Homme's project with superstar back up and it comes over as no more than one of the latter Queens of the Stone Age albums; IE you have repetitive, sludgy, boring tracks with bland lyrics and no hint of excitement or novelty to be found. Homme must be one the most over-rated musicians of the age and as a singer he is no better than average. OK, JPJ and Grohl do OK as you would expect, but come on folks, this is a vanity project that bores, bores, bores. At least they've let you listen for free on the website so you don't have to buy this thing - that gets them an extra star by the way.

Now that was what I though after one listen. But I gave it a chance, listened to it a couple of more times and downloaded it (very reasonable price) and while I stand by my assertion that it is not as "great" as others think it IS a grower, it has an insidious charm that gets under your skin, and as someone else says it is a bit like late 70's Bowie albums in that it burrows its way into your brain. My one remaining quibble is that there aren't many "tunes" that you instantly pick up on. This is just a personal whim of mine at the moment, so while I currently prefer the new Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Europe albums for their instant charm, I cannot deny that this "vanity project" ain't half bad.

By the way I'd like to thank Kalamari for pointing out the error of my ways. I owe it all to you! It's such a shame that I've had to delete your well reasoned and perceptive comment on my previous review...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected, 10 July 2011
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
Having read a lot of reviews of this one when it came out, I'd more or less decided I wouldn't like it. Then it was given to me as a gift - good move, as it's much better than a lot of the reviews (and some of the band members' own interview comments) give it credit for. The first couple of minutes are a little disappointing - most CD's lead off with a strong track, but No One Loves Me & Neither Do I sounds like a jam session recorded in an empty (and echoey) rehearsal room. Then, near the 3-minute mark, the track explodes with a monster riff - and you realise why it's the lead track.

Tracks like Mind Eraser, No Chaser are well-constructed rock tunes, and those like Elephant are riff-driven monsters that wouldn't be out of place on Physical Graffiti or Songs for the Deaf. It's worth putting the whole disc on, as it ends with two tracks that combine the riffage with the songwriting. Gunman and Spinning in Daffodils round the album off with a mixture of power, drama and humour.

Them Crooked Vultures have made a great album, that builds on the strengths of each member - Grohl in particular spends the whole album doing what he does best - playing rock drums better than just about anybody else, ever. Homme handles all the lead vocals, and John Paul Jones does what he did in Led Zep - unobtrusive but rock-solid bass and characteristic production flourishes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 10 times listening: Awesome!, 29 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
I first met these three guys in a live concert at Roskilde Festival and that was quite cool. The music was powerful and interesting in many ways, so i ended up buying this album. It didn't really catch me the first times of listening but when heard some times it really deserves five Stars for being so awesome music!
Every time i listen to this music it totally keeps my body from relaxing. I just can't sit still.
Don't expect that it sounds like Led Zeppelin cause it's very different. But it's filled with interesting riffs, rythms and chord progressions.

Get this album and don't judge it by your first few listenings!
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Them Crooked Vultures - A plucked old bird or the Supergroup strikes back?, 12 Nov. 2009
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
Some of the blackest and most wretched moments in rock history can be located in the formation of super groups in the 70s and 80s. Anyone remember Beck, Bogart and Appice, The Firm or Asia? If the answer is "no" you should breath deeply and in from a sense of gratitude offer to do some pro bono work for a local charity. The theory was simple. Put together what were very accomplished and adept muso's and hey presto they will record a brilliant album. Not likely is the response, indeed as the NME as rather colourfully put it "Having a bunch of minted fret w**kers get together and knock off some tunes between hairdresser and spa appointments is never, ever going to trump a band of hungry 22-year-olds who've grown up together and spent years honing their art while surviving on dog-ends and cold pizza". Velvet Revolver was the most recent abomination to emerge from this genre and thus it begs the question whether the portents are good for Them Crooked Vultures?

The answer of course is yes. Josh Homme of QOTSA, Dave Grohl of Nirvana, Foo Fighters and QOTSA and the "quiet one" John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin are by any standards on top of their game. But more than this Grohl and Homme have regularly played together especially on the Queens brilliant album "Songs for the Deaf". After being the powerhouse behind Sir Percy Plant and Jimmy Page, I suspect that John Paul Jones could twang an elastic band and make it sound great. Thus these are musicians coming together for the joy of it rather to trying to use the collective muscle of their respective names to generate interest. They don't need to do that, what they do need to do is produce an album that does them justice.

On balance Them Crooked Vultures performs this feat well. The template is hard rock blues so no surprises here. But as the Queens of the Stone Age prove when done properly this can be thrilling, powerful and fun. Grohl can thump the drums nearly as well as John Paul Jones former sparring partner John Bonham while Josh Homme writes hard rock songs which have dangerous hints of melody (and in his spare time produces the Arctic Monkeys) and John Paul Jones is .......John Paul Jones.

The album starts with three absolute corkers, namely "No one loves me neither do I", "Mind Eraser Mind Chaser" and the great single "New Fang". This is hard rock in the vein of Led Zep and the Raconteurs. In terms of "No One" at about 2.45 minutes the song breaks into such a monstrous riff that I thought the CD had accidently switched to Physical Graffiti! Yes it's been done before but when it is this good it remains one of the great rock disciplines. All in all an excellent start but the best song is yet to come. "Elephants" is probably the album highlight. It is an old fashion hard rock beast monster which gives you a migraine from shaking your head around so much. Yes it could be straight from a QOSTA album but its pure class. A couple of gripes next. Scumbug Blues sounds a bit too much like Cream to be true while "Bandoliers" steals a riff from somewhere which is driving me mad in trying to identify. Some of the songs could have also done with a bit of editing and "Interlude with Ludes" could fill potholes.

"Warsaw" however has a dirty and sexy feel and a brilliant vocal by Homme. "Gunman" is excellent while the 7 minute plus epic "Spinning in the Daffodils" that closes the album might be "Kashmir" for the noughties ending with a Page style guitar coda. On the scale of invention and originality this album would not score high but judged for what it is a namely a stellar hard rock album it ticks all the boxes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why 5 stars?, 4 Feb. 2010
By 
Red Mosquito (Horton Bank Top) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
I waited a while to review this album to avoid being trampled by the hysteria. I've read all the reviews. Some helpful, some not. Some amount to nothing more than an uninformative rant. Chances are if you are a fan of Kyuss, QotSA and Led Zeppelin you're going to like TCV but why 5 stars? Seems to me that we (reviewers)can be motivated by a range of complex considerations when we are invited to rate a collection of songs. Being limited to a range of 1 to 5 is a bit of a cop out really. This album contains many of the elements that I hear on my favourite Kyuss album, my favourite QotSA album and my favourite Zep album but all these musicians have previously been involved in making better albums than this imo and It's not possible to compare it to previous TCV albums, making it a difficult one to rate. It's not the best album ever made nevertheless it is a very special hybrid of musical excellence that can only be provided by musicians with the experience and track record of Them !! Very special indeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars everybody destroyed this CD but me, 10 Jun. 2010
By 
Giorgio Maria Visimberga (Bari, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
At least in Italy, no magazine liked this CD actually; Josh Homme is hypertrophic as a musician as well as Jack White, Grohl should better make money with the Loose Fighters, and Jones is the coolest ever.

you know what? I wasn't looking for the CD of the century, but for something powerful, well done, and sort of stylish. This CD has all three and I listen to it almost daily.

Plainly said, buy it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth listening to :D, 19 Dec. 2009
By 
T. Robinson (England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I dont know what this other guys so bummed about for starters.

If Josh Homme wanted to make another "same old" QOTSA album then he would have stuck with it.
If Dave Grohl wanted to make another Foo Fighters sounding album, he would be doing that.

NO, Them Crooked Vultures are supposed to be something a bit different to what you would expect from these individuals.
The album has some good guitar riffs, quirky sounds and catchy numbers which are great for fellow guitar players.
Mind Eraser is probably one of the best on the album, on a whole, its a good "first" album from a band that has been thrown together and are looking for a new/fun sound, if it wasn't "fun" I highly doubt they would be doing this kinda album considering they're not exactly strapped for cash.

Enough waffling, I would give it a 7 or 8 out of 10 based on quality and structure of this album not the fact that "its not QOTSA, its not FOO, its not etcetc. To me, it's an interesting step forward not to be frowned upon :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three classics for a classic...., 23 Dec. 2009
By 
A. Hurst "amysahib" (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
Three incredibly talented musicians doing what they're brilliant at - creating music. This isn't a stunt to advertise QOTSA or Foo Fighters etc; and don't buy it just because you're a fan of each of the bands, sounds nothing like any of the three bands. It sounds like three musicians blending their skills and having fun, with a thunderous twist of course. A mesh of hardcore rock one minute, classic blues the next, heavy goth rock, then even a twist or two of classic American country rock thrown in there! Josh Homme and John Paul Jones merging their talents in beautiful harmony with Dave Grohl beating the living daylights out of the drums by bringing them back to life! It's fresh, original and truly addictive.
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