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Them Crooked Vultures “Them Crooked Vultures” Review

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First hinting that the band even existed a mere six months ago, the ultra-super-mega powers of John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin; heard of ‘em?), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), and Dave Grohl (Foovana) find themselves tangled in the sounds of murky rock and sludgy blues (with a few oddball tangents to boot) of Them Crooked Vultures.

The album itself plays out as more of a classic rock Desert Sessions than it does an attempt at living up to any of the musician’s past work. The rhythmic jive between Jones and Grohl sounds as tight as any release Jones has been involved with over the past three decades (I kid) while Homme riffs away as he’s been known to do with his mainstay. For having only been working on the project for a half year, the trio’s chemistry sounds impeccable, though that’s kind of predictable considering how much influence Zeppelin has had on Grohl and Homme (especially on QOTSA’s brilliant Songs For the Deaf where Grohl sat in on drums).

Aside from Homme’s predictably throbbing grooves (QOTSA is best heard on “New Fang”), Them Crooked Vultures introduces a variety of unexpected sounds into the mix; “Scumbag Blues” leans on some “Funky Town”-ish keys, “Caligulove” rips into some organ straight out of the ’60s, and “Gunman” subtly wah-wahs its into the mix.

While the album is hardly forgettable, don’t expect some sort of musical Transformer that combines the superhuman talents of the band’s unique parts.