Well, my favorite month is here! And now it’s time for one of my favorite albums, so straight to the music shall we?
Album: Them Crooked Vultures Artist: Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures is what we refer to as a “supergroup.” Comprised of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl of basically anything amazing (and by that I mean Nirvana and The Foo Fighters), and John Paul Jones of this little band you may have heard of called Led Zeppelin, they really just can’t go wrong.
Them Crooked Vultures started in 2009 in Los Angeles. I don’t know exactly what made these three rock gods get together and be like, “Hey, let’s do something amazing,” but it obviously happened at some point. The group was selling out concerts before their debut even dropped.
Them Crooked Vultures (said self-titled debut) opens with “No One Loves Me & Niether Do I,” and I think it’s one of the best demonstrations of what the album is all about. It starts out really heavy on a Led Zepp kinda grove paired with some always tight drumming from Dave Grohl and then switches to the dirty rock n’ roll of Queens of the Stone Age. Admittedly, I wouldn’t say the album is more awesome than any of it’s parts; I find it to be a little drawn out sometimes. However, I would say it is just as awesome as it’s parts. Josh Homme is a really talented guitarist, Dave Grohl is basically the epitome of everything a drummer should be, and well, JPJ manages to play just about everything else. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he plays about half this album.
One of my favorite things about Them Crooked Vultures is the grove of it. These guys just lock in together and really bust it out. The perfect example of this is “Gunman;’ it’s the kind of song that makes you bob your head while JPJ and Grohl just go. Homme manages to pull it back though; his slower vocals sync in perfect balance and his later guitar solo pushes it right back up. But grove isn’t everything. The weirdness is just as important. For example, “Interlude With Ludes,” reminds listeners that sometimes thinking outside the box is just what rock n’ roll needs. It’s very Led Zepplin/Queens of the Stone Age-esque.
Apparently I’m not the only one that cares about the Vultures though. Their first single “New Fang” (again heavy on the Led Zepp) won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance (which is honestly the only award I care about anymore). It’s honestly almost everything you could hope a Foo/Queens/Led Zepp mashup could be. Almost.
In closing, there have been a lot of supergroups to do it right (Traveling Wilburys, for example) and even a lot to do it wrong (I mean, too many egos in one place doesn’t always go as planned). I personally think that Them Crooked Vultures managed to get it right on this one. I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed when we didn’t get a new Vultures album this past year like supposed rumor had it, and I can only hope that these guys get together again. They’re all obviously having fun, and it translates: this is a fun album to listen to.
Any suggestions? I won’t lie, I’m not promising anything of any quality for next week so I would really appreciate some help! Until next week, keep listening!
Honorable Song Mentions: No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, Mind Eraser No Chaser, New Fang, Scumbag Blues, Bandoliers, Gunman, Spinning In Daffodils
Also, sidenote: my good internet friend and fellow music writer Sam has an album listening club if you’d like to check it out. I’m thinking about joining myself! You can find the link to his page over in the sidebar.