Them Crooked Vultures are exactly what you would expect from a supergroup comprised of former/present members of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Led Zeppelin (kind of). By that I mean they rock pretty hard, write good songs, will sell lots of records and concert tickets, etc. Most "supergroups" form as a pass time for tired musicians who've exhausted their work with the bands that made them famous, OR by musicians who can't stick to one stream of output and need an outlet for the excess, and.. wait. That sounded kind of gross, let me rephrase. This band is more or less a recreational activity. TVC is not quite The Deadweather level of blow-your-mind significance, but its still pretty good. Just knowing the faces (Homme, Jones, Grohl), its tough to imagine it'd be obviously bad. In fact its exactly what you'd expect. Most of the record rocks really hard in the way you probably already heard it in your head.
The first track to surface, "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" made it seem like Grohl and Homme are really the point people for the style of TCV. The cut embodies their modern rock flare and Grohls immediately recognizable timbre. But some tracks drift into Zep heavy pysch rock, like the aptley named "Scumbag Blues," making this a pretty well balanced trio of input/output. I love hearing the Zepplin chord progressions with typical Grohl harmonies and rhythmic bass licks... there is something both nostalgic and really contemporary about the whole mess that is fundamentally contradicting and unsettling, but at the same time kind of satisfying. So that is a plus.
However, I wouldn't agree with statements like "beats and sounds you've never heard," because lets face it, these guys aren't doing anything too risky. It is pretty standard rock music, and save for the collection of legends and superstars crafting it, there isn't anything revolutionary going on here. It feels like old hat to be writing new acid rock and pretending its something that any other collection of super-rock stars couldn't do in a slightly different way, and not necessarily any better or worse.
That being said, it takes a bit of sophistication to write a solid riff on an actual guitar, and most punks with laptops don't understand the nuance anymore. For the crowd who think Animal Collective sound like monkeys with computers, this is your album. - joe puglisi
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MP3: Them Crooked Vultures - "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" (Them Crooked Vultures)
Them Crooked Vultures on Myspace