|Them Crooked Vultures - 'Self-Titled' (RCA/Sony)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Wednesday, 25 November 2009 19:32|
You'd have to have been living on a kibbutz for the last six months or set off on a one-man mission to Mars not to have read or heard the blurb behind this debut release from Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones.
A sussed out 'through the line' media blitz was used to promote their series of low-key shows in the summer of 2009 where the trio took their music to the people to test reactions to what they had been cooking up since the venture was first mentioned by Grohl in a Mojo interview dating back to 2005.
Considering myself something of fan of the illustrious back catalogues of the band members from Them Crooked Vultures, I've held off reviewing this from online streams etc until I could get the hard copy product in my CD player and let the fucker rip.... and boy, am I thankful I did.
The self production is as monumental sounding as you'd expect from the trio, letting their instruments do the talking, with loads of clever use of space and the signature time changes you'd expect from a band featuring one John Paul Jones. But the most striking quality of this album for me (apart from Grohl's Bonham-esque kick drum foot) is just how much Josh Homme seems to relish the song writing challenge this project has offered him, and he has certainly stepped up his game since the lackadaisical 'Era Vulagris' and 'Lullabies To Paralyse' albums.
Tracks like 'Dead End Friends' (who is that getting the Brian May guitar sound down to a tee?) and 'Reptiles' stand like towering chunks of desert blues rock impossible to climb without taking your life into your own hands. Both are well worth the fall just the same. On tracks like 'Caligulove' and 'Scumbag Blues' there are faint echoes of a certain band from the late Sixties, but we certainly aren't talking Led Zeppelin here, more a band who had an infamous drummer who went on to feature on a Masters of Reality album...Classy stuff whatever flavour of rock you prefer.
Speaking of Chris Goss and his magnificent Masters of Reality, the longer trackson 'Them Crooked Vultures', 'Spinning In Daffodils' and 'Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up' (both clocking in at over seven minutes each) could very easily have featured on his recent 'Pine/Cross Dover' opus, and if there is any common sense in this world then Them Crooked Vultures would choose Masters of Reality as their perfect musical road partners when they tour Europe this coming December and January. Go on guys, you know you want to.
Harking back to a time not so long ago when Queens Of The Stone Age were essential listening for any self respecting rock fan, and chock full of soon to be classic rock anthems, 'Them Crooked Vultures' is the sound of three musicians rediscovering their love of real music, and producing one humungous ball of joyous noise in the process.
Essential listening for anyone with an ounce of musical integrity, and I didn't mention the term supergroup once...Oh, balls...