Them Crooked Vultures are finally here for our auditory pleasures. The band is composed of Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, and the legendary bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Being a huge fan of all three bands I had no doubt the collaboration would be nothing short of amazing, and how right I was to assume.
The project has been in the works since 2005 and four years later the result is an intricate and distinguishably refreshing sound that leaves no questions in regard to the love and devotion these musicians have for what they do. Although fans would easily be able to recognize Josh’s vocals, John on the bass, and Grohl on drums, the combination is quite unique, having little resemblance to the respective bands these musicians have been a part of. The album has traces of influence ranging from rock to funk to psychedelic, subtle similarities to both Queens Of The Stone Age and Zeppelin are inevitably present upon first hearing, but overall quite innovative in its own right.
A few standout tracks for me include ‘Scumbag Blues’ a really catchy tune with a great danceable groove, also ‘The Interlude with Ludes’ makes use of really clever lyrics with a playfully dark quality, the song feels like it’s being sung from a ship lost at sea, you’ll know what I mean when you hear it. Another great track is ‘No One Loves Me & Neither do I’ it’s the first song on the album and it successfully sets the tone for the rest. The use of the keytar, slide guitar and mandolin throughout also adds an interesting feeling to the music, and sets it apart from a lot of other rock out now.
The album possesses a certain mystery and sensual quality, which can be attributed to several things including Josh’s singing, along with the way the instrumentation is executed. It’s haunting and captivating without ever demanding too much from the listener. All players masterfully embrace their talents and collectively produce something exciting and unique. This may very well be at the top of my list as album of the year.