Them Crooked Vultures
Released: November 17, 2009
Label: Interscope Records
The term “supergroup” is thrown around way to loosely in the music industry. Just throwing some well known and talented musicians together does not instantly make the group of them “super”. Most often “supergroups” fade quickly. For Them Crooked Vultures, however, the term fits perfectly. Consisting of Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss), the legendary John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Alain Johannes (who plays with them live). Them Crooked Vultures is one of those bands where everything just clicks perfectly together.
Their self titled debut is musical mastery. It combines slow groove rock elements similar to that found in QOTSA, mixed with some of the mayhem Grohl produces like in Foo Fighters and ties it all together with Jones’ excellent bass and keyboard work. The song “Bandoliers” push the slow rock groove with some nice bass lines and drum work. The lead guitar riffs sit upfront with the vocals for balance. The song is primarily a mellow groove with a touch of rock. “New Fang” has been the radio friendly song. It’s more uptempo and bouncy with it’s melody, guitars and vocals which are still right up front. The song will get you shaking your head and moving your feet.
“Elephants” and “Gunman” are two of the harder tracks on the album. Each in their own way displaying Grohl’s insane drumming abilities, and showing off more in-your-face guitar riffs and strong bass lines. “Caligulove” is one of my favorite tracks. It has distorted, grungy guitar riffs that are prominent, but sit more towards the back. The drumming and bass are very melodic. This song oozes with so much grunge rock groove one can’t help but be overcome by it. Throw in some of Jone’s keyboard skills and the song very much feels like a throwback to that great rock era of the 1970s. One thing to mention is Josh Homme’s vocals on each of the tracks fit the music very well. He’s not a screamer and that works. It really helps balance the music out.
Them Crooked Vultures is one of those rare gems where everything works. This is one of those albums that I can listen to over and over and never get tired of it (which is rare). No matter my mood, I can listen to it. It’s especially helpful to get back in a good mood. Truth be told, there really is not a single bad song on this album. Bringing together these three talented individuals, Grohl has truly created himself a real “supergroup”. One that I hope sticks around and produces many albums that are equally as good as this one.
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