Them Crooked Vultures CD
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This is the debut album of Them Crooked Vultures, a hard rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band comprises drummer Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss) and bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).
Supergroups are traditionally awful – from Blind Faith onwards, bands composed of people from other acts generally feature the worst of each ensemble, possibly as the members keep all the good songs for themselves. There are notable exceptions to the rule, of course – the Traveling Wilburys, for one, or Electronic – and now comes a brand new exception in the form of Them Crooked Vultures.
The band is Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters and Nirvana, and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, and their debut album is very good indeed. Released, rather oddly, at virtually the same time as Foo Fighters’ new greatest hits collection, this album sounds by and large like QOTSA, as Homme sings and plays guitar, but with – unsurprisingly really – Zeppelin-esque touches. From Scumbag Blues, which could have fitted loudly on the second Zep’ album, to the superb single No-One Loves Me And Neither Do I, which is a distant cousin to Trampled Underfoot, this is a proper rock album that’s very aware of its roots.
Homme’s wit lifts proceedings – it’s hard to imagine Robert Plant coming up with song titles like Caligulove or Interlude With Ludes – and he is well served by his rhythm section, as Grohl treats the drums like bad children in a fairy tale and Jones provides solid musical support. Every song here has a very decent riff, particularly Mind Eraser, No Chaser and the epic Elephants – the latter is almost all riff.
If there is criticism to be had, it’s that there’s nothing here you wouldn’t find on one of Homme’s proper band projects, and Grohl’s cheerful pop-metal talents seem to be somewhat underused. But these things (along with Jones’ rock legend heritage) will doubtless be exploited when the band go on tour. In the meantime, this is a funny, powerful, edgy debut album from a trio of people who might be expected to have turned out something a bit more relaxed and ordinary. --David Quantick
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
It makes me wonder (oooh and it makes me wonder) if fans of Led Zeppelin and/or the Foo Fighters picked up a copy of TCV expecting to hear their respective favourite band, only to discover it's thoroughly Queens Of The Stone Age (with some wandering Kashmir style John Paul Jones keyboard playing - Bandoliers - being the only atypical ingredient). I suppose if the boot was on the other foot and I found I'd got a Foo Fighters album, I too would be disappointed; so if I can add anything to the previous comments, it would be to target my recommendation specifically to fans of the whole QOTSA back catalogue.
Some people describe this album as a grower; I would describe QOTSAs Era Vulgaris and ...Like Clockwork as growers, but with this album the majority of tracks grabbed me at the first listen, with the last four or five tracks taking a little longer. I find the arrhythmic Reptiles a bit jarring, and Interlude With Ludes slightly derivative of Era Vulgaris's I'm Designer (as well as being a skippable spaced-out novelty). I love the rest, Josh Hommes compositions thump along like an engine as usual; and it has the original and the best Elephant song on it, none of that Tame Impala nonsense.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a Line up Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin) all in one band and the result is stunning. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Earwig
Brilliant album, played in my car for years - that's all ways good sign of a good CD, any one giving this album one star
Obviously does not understand music.
This album is reminiscent of the first three Queens of the Stone Age albums, yet it's more refined and slightly less mental! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charlotte Breedon
Good album and worth a listen. It has taken me a few plays to get there but it is definitely a grower.Published 6 months ago by Mr. Andrew James