Review ·

Let's be honest: What makes Them Crooked Vultures a "supergroup" unlike any other "supergroup" this decade is the presence of John Paul Jones. Other than a former Beatle, a former member of Led Zeppelin is perhaps the biggest get for any potential "supergroup," let alone one that also includes former members of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. From that standpoint, it shouldn't be surprising in the slightest that Them Crooked Vultures has already rocked out a number of packed mid-sized venues. What's more disappointing is the eponymous debut album, which suffers from the same fallacy that too often plagues "supergroups": the tendency of its band members to please each other more than to please the listeners.

Despite the presence of John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl, it's clear from the start that the star of the show is Josh Homme, who has yet to have a success to match 2002's Songs for the Deaf, not to mention just about any release by the band's other two members. Them Crooked Vultures sounds more like an awkward attempt to introduce classic hard-rock rhythmic synergy into a Queens of the Stone age album, an effort that proves remarkably disappointing.

Grohl, who has played drums for QOTSA previously, does as well as he can, as does Jones, whose bass skills are so underutilized that it reminds you why he thanked Page and Plant for "remembering his phone number" upon Led Zeppelin's Rock Hall induction. Despite being given the most rope, Homme too often sacrifices his signature rapid-riff repetition to try to make his guitar sound as epic as Jimmy Page's. The result produces nothing of what makes either guitarist great.

The basic musical problem of Them Crooked Vultures is this: Homme's guitar work and vocals are a lot more modern than Jones's bass playing or even Grohl's drumming, which gave Nirvana the classic hard-rock sound the band needed to cross over with Nevermind. There are all the traditional problems of pop metal here, too: songs that all sound the same, deceptively misogynistic lyrics, and the sacrifice of songwriting precision for virtuosic displays that border on masturbatory. Despite being the smallest draw of the band, Homme was no doubt allowed to dominate by Grohl and Jones by some bizarre metric on the overrated/underrated scale.

I have no doubt that seeing Them Crooked Vultures live is a worthy experience. It's probably a lot more worthy than anything you'll find on the band's album.

 

  • No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
  • Mind Eraser, No Chaser
  • New Fang
  • Dead End Friends
  • Elephants
  • Scumbag Blues
  • Bandoliers
  • Reptiles
  • Interlude With Ludes
  • Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up
  • Caligulove
  • Gunman
  • Spinning in Daffodils

If nothing else, Them Crooked Vultures is a superstar group that consists of three legitimate superstars in terms of sales in addition to art. John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme have all sold tens of millions of albums. It's no suprise that they sold out their initial show in Chicago this summer without having so much as stepped in a studio; anytime the words "Led Zeppelin" and "Nirvana" are invoked in the same sentence in one band, you can be sure the house will be packed.

 

Despite being the (relative) young'un of the group, Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal) will essentially serve as the frontman of Them Crooken Vultures, with lead vocal/guitar duties. Once the album is released. Them Crooked Vultures will be touring the U.K., with all dates sold out months before arrival.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - The Road Original Soundtrack Eminem Relapse Refill

I'm sad to say I would only rate this a lil' higher. This record really frustrated me to no end -- some parts really, really drag.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Andrew_Martin/me.jpg Andrew_Martin

Are you guys retards? I read your thing, and oh wow you know some fancy words and think you get music. But what the fuuck are you talking about? did you listen to Gunman on repeat cause thats the only one that sounds a little mixed up and it still beats the crap out of most foo fighters and nirvana. You people should all crap your pants in shame like I did in rage when I read your trashy article. I believe you are the governments whore and its your job to keep people dumb.

You must die or else you will die!

Grohl and Homme were both on QOTSA before.
The album is basically a new OOTSA album, that's not a problem though. The Queens are awesome, Homme is terrific and the album is wonderful. It has no problems, and it works great.

Large disagreement

with all the hype and shameless adoration on this album I expected to be blow away. It was formulaic and a big letdown. Totally disappointed. I'd rather listen to Kyuss.

JD

Ethan, Your review is typical "main stream" dribble" - which is why most people take criticism by people like you with a grain of salt. You must be the type of music listener who likes short 2 1/2 minute songs with a 10 second bridge and you're happy. You obviously have no patience or maturity to listen to this type of music. So go back to your little bedroom and spin your Lady Gaga cd's and I will enjoy this new album. By the way... I was never a Queens OTSA fan, but after hearing this I'm going to be adding them to my HUGE music library. (my library does not include any Snoop Dog, so don't bother coming by my house to party)!

Wrkng mn

I don't agree with this review at all. I really don't hear this 'the only tend to please themselves.' I really agree with "Wrkng mn," in this review it really reads like you are not appreciating what you are listening to at all. While Homme's vocals might well be the weakest part of the album, that isn't saying much. For example, in Gunman, they take a dance beat and turn it into such a good groove; the whole time Homme's voice gives the song its swagger. In my opinion you're being a little too critical and not appreciative enough as you would be if you gave the album a fair listen. Personally, what I think is the best part of the album is that even though there are little pieces of Zeppelin, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and QotSA scattered throughout the album; they still managed to give Them Crooked Vultures' its own sound and originality. It's so fresh yet you don't really touch on that at all. You really should just listen to the album a few more times and write a newer, more fair critical review.
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Final Review Score - 1.5 Stars out of 5 - Poor review in general: much too critical and out of touch; highlighted to the greatest extent when you call this album 'Pop Metal.'

Sadly,

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