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Them Crooked Vultures

The Band

Them Crooked Vultures are a "supergroup" composed of John Paul Jones, Josh Homme, and Dave Grohl. By all accounts it was mostly Dave Grohl's who started it all, having met Jones when he scored some trumpets for a Foo Fighters song. Dave had mentioned that he might want to do something with JPJ, and later started talking to Josh Homme about doing something with Jonesy. Homme was, by his own report, skeptical that Grohl would actually get John, reportedly saying “that’d be awesome. And I’ll ask… The President. And we can put it all together.”1
Nevertheless, Dave did begin corresponding with John, and soon, he and Josh found themselves seated together at Medieval Times, celebrating Grohl's 40th birthday, with him watching over them from the tier above. By all accounts, John and Josh hit it off, and a new band was born.

The Album

Their first album (self-titled) was released November 2009 (the exact day differed between countries). Alain Johannes recorded backing vocals on tracks 4, 8 and 9, and also plays as a live guitarist. The artwork, etc. was done by Liam Lynch, with art direction by Morning Breath. The mastering was done by Brian Gardner, with the album production credited to Them Crooked Vultures.

The Review

of the album
I believe it to be probably the best album released this year (2009), and certainly the most refreshing. The tracks are eclectic whilst always being based in hard rock, featuring Josh Homme's excellent guitar-playing and lyricism, and Dave Grohl's extremely solid drumming, with Jonesy offering some fantastically sexy basslines (as well as some brilliant piano and keyboards). Several of the songs are punctuated with some impressive time changes (difficult even for accomplished musicians) and the ordering of the tracks, a small but still important part of a record, is very well done.

Track Listing

1. Nobody Loves Me & Neither Do I
2. Mind Eraser, No Chaser
3. New Fang
4. Dead End Friends
5. Elephants
6. Scumbag Blues
7. Bandoliers
8. Reptiles
9. Interludes With Ludes
10 Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up
11. Caligulove
12. Gunman
13. Spinning In Daffodils

1. Aniquiet Interview With Josh Homme
Under the lights / They snap a finger / You jump, you answer / Like a hooker with a big, dumb smile - "Reptiles"

Them Crooked Vultures is a modern-day supergroup, formed from none other than Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and John Paul Jones. If you're like me and have trouble remembering names, let me take a moment to point out exactly why these three guys constitute a supergroup.

Okay, so they're a big deal. You might be wondering what they sound like at this point. The best answer would be to go hit up Youtube for any of their videos - which feature a pretty swank tri-color style - but that's sort of a cop-out. The best way to describe it is that they are almost exactly what it would sound like if Queens Of The Stone Age and Led Zeppelin were, in fact, the same band.

The influences from QotSA are inescapable: Josh Homme and Dave Grohl are still members of that band. If you're one of QotSA's detractors, I couldn't honestly say how much you'll get out of this, except that you might very well enjoy Them Crooked Vultures in spite of it. I'm not sure whether the Led Zeppelin influences are intentional or if it's just how John Paul Jones plays a guitar; either way, it's incredible how well the two sounds match up.

There are some folks out there who think Queens of the Stone Age sucks. There's also people who think Led Zeppelin sucks. If you're one of those who thinks they both suck, well, I guess you're entitled to your opinion (my opinion on your opinion not withstanding), but if you like one or the other, I highly recommend giving them a listen. "New Fang", the first single off of their first album, is really the biggest example of their sound and an excellent place to start. After that, "Caligulove" and "Reptiles" are the next best tracks. If those three don't sell you on this, I suppose you could always go back to your Nickelback and Creed records.

As of this writeup, they have released a single self-titled album under the Sony BMG/DGC Interscope Columbia record label. A second one is confirmed to be in the works with a possible release date by the end of 2010.

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