Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

By Special Guest :- Steven Wright

When I read that Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones were forming a ‘supergroup’ I nearly sprayed my monitor with Irn-Bru. We’re talking about Homme, one of my favourite musicians from one of my top 5 bands. Grohl, who is one of the most famous musicians in modern music. If that’s not enough then let us throw in the multi instrumentalist legend that is John Paul Jones from Led ‘bloody’ Zeppelin.

Fanboy outburst out-of-the-way, these three talented men now have a lot to live up to. Each one comes from a band (or two) that are heavily rooted in the Rock and Roll hall of fame. So, does the album work? The simple answer is yes. It really, really works. So well in fact, that upon picking my favourite tracks to talk about I wrote two pages of notes. Even with all these notes I still don’t know which song is my favourite as they are all good in their individual way.

No One loves you and Neither do I

The album kicks off with this perfect opener that completely sets the tone. Starting with a lazy riff that moves along in perfect harmony with Homme’s vocals. Just when you get used to the song it kicks off with a heavy riff that exemplifies what you are going to get from Them Crooked Vultures – loud, sexy rock.

Mind Eraser, No Chaser

This is the track that you’ll be singing along to in the shower, the first song with a really catchy chorus.. John Paul Jones lays down a brilliant bass line that had me pumping up the bass on my speakers. The guitar work by Josh has an old school vibe about it, as does much of the album.


New Fang

Is the first single from the album, not as good as the first two tracks in my opinion, but still a really good track. You really get a sense of the experimentation by this point.

Elephant

Following the somewhat morose track, ‘Dead End Friends’, is this brilliant song. The intro is just ridiculous, with each member working together to create some great music. It feels so fluid, so raw, a real showcase of their talent. At 1:25 the vocals kick in with a typical lackadaisical Homme style. The lyrics are very poetic, reminiscent of a lot of 60’s and 70’s rock, specifically the likes of Cream. The track rounds itself off the same way it started with a crescendo of noise.. Possibly the best track on the album.


Scumbag Blues

For many this is the standout track on the album, with Josh’s voice once again showing shades of Cream era Clapton and Bruce. The song is laid back at the start, with a brilliant bass line, but quickly kicks in with an impressive guitar solo and some keyboard work from Jones. The track changes and shifts throughout, but still manages to feel complete.

Bandoliers

Reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, Bandoliers switches the tempo down after the last few tracks.

Reptiles

This track is powered by a brilliant bass line from Jones that hops and jumps along throughout the entire song. Homme’s vocals switch from smooth to eerily high with each verse. Back this up with some distorted guitar and eery chant-like backing vocals and you have an interesting track.

Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up

After the very laid back ‘Interlude With Ludes’ comes this beast, and it lays down a great, big dirty blues riff. This is another lazy track that rumbles along with every part playing together perfectly. It finishes with a four-minute jamming session, which I simply cannot get enough of.

Caligulove

Starts out quite reserved but quickly kicks in with a really catchy, high-pitched chorus followed with some more keyboard work from Jones. It’s quite a simple track next to the others but is one of my favourites. It ends with yet another fun little outro.

Gunman
Another great riff kicks off this track – with almost funk like guitar work – that carries into the chorus where Josh’s voice is reminiscent of David Bowie. I almost checked Wikipedia to see if he had guested on the album.


Spinning In Daffodils

The most obviously different track on the album. Starts out with a traditional piano intro that quickly gets drowned put by some guitar feedback as the track kicks in. A dark song that is furthered by more Bowie-esque vocals, particularly his Berlin era – Station to Station and Low. The track really wraps the album up well.

To summarise, a great album. Simple as that. This album should have something for everyone. It borrows from bands and movements throughout the last 30 odd years and does so without sounding like a completes mess. My personal album of the year, cannot wait to hear more.

10/10

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