“Them Crooked Vultures” by Them Crooked Vultures

 

Birds of a feather flock together, and so when Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) flew in formation they realized their feathers were a perfect match. But were Them Crooked Vultures circling above their premature death, in a twisted cannibalistic irony?

Them Crooked Vultures put out a brand of hard rock that’s relentless and not very commercial-minded. At times they throw in a bone that vibes of funky blues. But not like a “Red Hot Chili Peppers” blues funk, more along the lines of exactly what you’d expect out of the men who wrote songs like “Black Dog“, “Song for the Deaf“, and “Everlong“. Homme’s all about riffs and solos as cracked as the desert sand he hails from. Grohl’s beats know when to take to the background and when to lay down the law. John Paul Jones shows that even at 63 he’s able to write a bassline you can bob your head to and tie the ends of the rest of the band together.

It’s all so heavily layered that you might not be able to pick up on finer details until you put on some headphones. Other times, you’ll have a guitar solo hard panned to one side and a keyboard solo panned to the other. It feels very old-school and badass, like taking a page out of Deep Purple‘s book. Unfortunately the production work is the biggest chunk of tar in the feathers, not allowing each instrument to really shine through the creepy atmosphere. Though I continue to say that Them Crooked Vultures is a dish best served live, as the album can’t possibly capture the energy of the group when they’re on stage.

So as it turns out, Them Crooked Vultures aren’t circling over themselves, they’re marking the death of lesser, vanity fueled “supergroups”. You aren’t beat over the head in each song with “Hey listen, it’s this guy! You remember him, right?” Instead, Them Crooked Vultures sound like they’ve been around picking at the bones of dead, garbage music for years.

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Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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