Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

January 01, 1970



If you’re like me,
supergroupings of any sort give you a headache. In particular anything
revolving around Led Zeppelin has been particularly dry, dumb and dull. Save
much of what John Paul Jones has done. Zep’s bassist/keyboardist/arranger has
had the courage, post-Led, to produce play and orchestrate with Brian Eno,
R.E.M., Butthole Surfers and Diamanda Galas. What did Jimmy Page do? Diddy.


So it’s not a great howling
surprise (even if their music is) that JPJ teamed with drummer Dave Grohl (Foo
Fighters) and guitarist/singer Josh Homme (Queens
of the Stone Age). Those two are Zep acolytes, yet able and strong enough to
project their own profile – the dream-psych “Interlude with Ludes” could be on
any QoSA album. “Nobody Loves Me & Neither Do I” sounds like vintage
Grohl pounding. Besides, Plant wants to pretend he’s a country singer rather
than reunite – do it. From a nearly eight-minute long hard-Zep-pastiche “Elephants”
to the prairie funk of “Out on the Tiles,” Those Crooked Vultures grooves dustily. There’s a musk about the
whole band (not “project”; you can sense the jamming and camaraderie within)
even when Jones adds clever keyboard riffs to “Mind Eraser, No
Chaser” and “Scumbag Blues.” And rather than think of this ever
as a Zep-tribute (though grace notes abound), from Homme’s rattling low voice
to the macho blues roll of the thing (not to mention whatever-the-heck
“Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up” is) to the
rhythmic interplay between Jones and Grohl, it often sounds more dedicated to
the likes of Mountain, Cream and even the Doors.


Yet, it is wholly its own
proud, roaring entity. So welcome is this into the hard rock canon of late.
Thanks gents.


Standout Tracks: “Interlude With Ludes,” “Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You
Give Up,” “Bandoliers” A.D. AMOROSI


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