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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars If it were a new band, would you care?, 27 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
Armed with an unlikely and potent rhythm section, with Dave Grohl, best drummer in the world, and John Paul Jones of Led Zep, Them Crooked Vultures really do need - to match their talents - a stunning wonderkid guitarist / singer to restate their position as a band that could thankfully wipe clean the crooked slate of that dreaded word `Supergroup'.

No such luck - here they have Josh Homme, who clearly rocks, and means it, but is, to my ears a somewhat pedestrian writer. Whilst there is no doubt these three men are having a great time rockin' like barstewards in their LA basement, it might be very well far more fun to play this music than it is to listen to : perhaps I'm less than grabbed by mid-paced opener "No Loves Me & Neither Do I", it's only when the band pick up the pace, shift tempos and try something a little more lively that I can be interested. "Mind Eraser No Chaser" is far more like it : excited, pacy, shifting tempos and style that keeps you pinned to your seat : and what sounds like Dave Grohl on chorus vocals, which is just dandy with me. "New Fang" is equally powerful.

However with expectations this high, it is only fair to me to expect a band that is both instantly appealing and rewards repeat visits. Where the album does fall down, is that it contains little variation in styles - songs come either fast and furious, slow and ponderous, and rarely go beyond these parameters. "Elephants" is the kind of glory I had hoped for right from the bat, hypnotic, spiralling, huge, and then falling into a fast paced race for the finish ; "Scumbag Blues" is the bastard, angry half-brother of "Trampled Underfoot". When the album hits its groove, a dirty, angry, and durable set of intricate riffs and powerful drumming atop somewhat underwhelming vocals from the limited Homme, it occupies a unique place - maybe not particularly brilliant, but certainly worthy and a fine new direction for the oft-underappreciated JPJ. It's not a patch on the godlike genius that is Probot, mind you. Now that band I'd love to hear more from.

Overall, the album is less than the sum of its parts - albeit, just - and thus, weighed down by enormous expectation. As a rock record, aside from a limp opening track, it's a fine debut : above the majority of debuts you've ever heard, though one can't help but wonder how well it would be received were it not for its lineage : would you buy it or like it without knowing anything about who played on it? Probably not. And that would be a shame, as it stands up as a damn fine record in it's own right. Where do we go from here? Who knows? But you want to find out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been bad. Happens to be good., 23 Dec 2009
By 
M. J. Axtell "Jimmy Luxury" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
I hope this lasts. Signs are good so far. That goes for the longevity of the band. There aren't many rock records that have lasted repeat listens into the distant future, but my genre is primarily electronic. I think I can count the amount of rock records I have had love affairs with on one hand. I would say The Datsuns self titled, BRMC's Howl, Primal Scream's XTRMNTR, South's Here On In and Autolux's Future Perfect and Songs for the Deaf by you-know-who have kept the rock fires burning. And now, tentatively, this one. But it's too early to say just yet.

On first listen I didn't know what to make of it. Then I listened to it again, except louder. I rinsed and repeated for a few days and lo and behold: It's quality. And it could so easily have not been, what with so many ego's flying about the place. And for the first time, Josh Homme solely sings the lead vocals on an album (please correct me if i'm wrong). And no Dave Grohl vocals. Brave decision.

Thank the lord for Josh Homme. He's like Mike Patton, except that I like his music. He seems to have this wonderful ability to bring the right people in for the job, case in point being QOTSA, Desert Sessions and the Eagles of Death Metal. These lineups are constantly changing, but they're no worse for it. It keeps things fresh and interesting, with this album adding to the feathers in Homme's cap.

This is a rock album, plain and simple, but it feels like it has a layer of desert sand, grime and sweat on it. It's very QOTSA and less Foo Fighters. It has great chugging quitars that sound like they're between repairs, fantastic lyrics ("You can't always do right but you can always do what's left". Classic.) that shape a very seedy world, and a pacing I haven't heard since Songs for the Deaf. Only Josh Homme could write a song about "Spinning in the Daffodils, Dizzy from a Dozen Twirls" and make it sound more seedy than a hooker's knickers. I needed a shower after listening to this album.

This surprised me, and I hope it surprises you. If I had to pick three essential tracks, they would be No-one loves me and neither do I, Elephants and Spinning in the Daffodils. But Mind Eraser, Reptiles, Dead End Friends and Gunman are brilliant too.

I'll be bumping this one to five stars if I can still listen to this without irony in 3-4 years time. Buy it if you love QOTSA or the Foo's. But you probably already have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!, 14 Dec 2009
By 
R. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Them Crooked Vultures (Audio CD)
Well I have to say this album blew my expectations out of the water!! TCV have delivered a thumping set of tunes that I can't stop listening to! Mr Grohl's relentless beats and fills, and Josh Hommes songmanship and uncanny knack for producing some truly wonderous riffage, all backed up by the legend that is JPJ on bass n keys. The combined effect of which is one of the most exciting and thunderous albums of the year!!

Highlights for me are 'Elephants' the opening 90 seconds are spectacular primal rock riffage of the highest order! 'Dead End Friends','Gunman' another classic Homme riff, 'Caligulove' JPJ on the keys for the darkest love song you'll hear all year 'Mind Eraser, No Chaser' and New fang are the most commercial tunes on the album, but in a good way! 'Spinning In The Daffodils' is another epic track, reminiscent of some long lost Led Zep classic and is a great closer to the album. The only weak track on the album for me is 'Interlude With Ludes' which is a bit of a non-song really, but 12 out of 13 tracks can't be bad!!

I was lucky enough to catch them live recently and I was blown away by the sheer ferocious energy and chemistry these guys have. Dave looks very at home behind the kit and did his best energiser bunny impression,relentless pounding rhythms, pretty much a 90 min drum solo! The hardest working man in rock? I think SO!! If you get a chance to see 'em, DO IT!! You won't be disappointed!!
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