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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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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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35 of 40 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vultures on a larger platter, 18 Feb 2010
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
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This review is for the vinyl issue of this album and is not going to dwell on the contents, they are adequately covered in the cd review.

Why buy vinyl? Well there have been plenty of reports of albums being remastered for cd and the amounts of compression being applied to them being excessive, therby ruining the sound quality. This does not happen in vinyl. Vinyl has been around for a long time and the dark arts of mastering a record have been well sorted out. CDs, whilst having existed for thirty years, do not appear to have reached the sonic perfection that we were promised in a lot of cases, Whitesnakes 'Live in the Shadow of the Blues' being my personal worst case. Some like the Beatles remasters and the King Crimson remasters are stunning.

I first heard this album on a cd burned from an iTunes download and thought it was worth buying on CD, so I did and it was noticeably better. I think the band are good and apart from a couple of issues with lyrical content am pleased with it.

So much so, that I decided to get on vinyl for my nephew, who is a vinyl fan at 21. He was well pleased and offered to let me hear it on his system, coz I had flogged my vinyl gear years ago. It was cut on 2 discs, loads of good strong virgin vinyl, and was in a double/gatefold sleeve. It sounded magnificent, better than the CD version, everything sounded more organic and less processed(even if this is just an illusion, it is a dang good one).

The only quibble I have with it is the artwork. It looks fine on CD, where it was designed for, but lacked detail or interesting stuff that rewards repeated viewing.

Anyway, if you have the choice and the cash get the vinyl version, you will not be disappointed.
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52 of 61 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
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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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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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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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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (MP3 Download)
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 AMAZING, 7 Nov 2012
By 
Rockin Robeson (hemel hempstead, herts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
This album needs a few plays to really get into the music by some of the most talented artists in the world. Do this and realise this is one of the greatest albums ever recorded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, 24 Dec 2011
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (MP3 Download)
it is an immense album with thirteen amazing songs, my personal Favourite is 'mind eraser, no chaser' with elephants coming as a close second
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rockin', 18 Dec 2010
This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
right from track one, this album keeps you happy...if you like to rock!!! great combination of musical talent, big josh keeps 'em coming!!!!
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