The album art for Them Crooked Vultures' self-titled debut

Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures’ debut is surprising because it lacks the ego of every other rock supergroup and exists only to show off the songwriting prowess of its members. The result is one the better riff-driven rock records in recent memory.

I mentioned Them Crooked Vultures off-handedly way back in the first week of Unsung, and have never actually recommended their full record. That shocks me. I have returned back to the supergroup’s debut more than any retro-inspired rock record of the past five years, and it’s high time I wrote about it.

If you live under a rock or missed this record when it came out, Them Crooked Vultures is a supergroup consisting of John Paul Jones (from Led Zeppelin) on bass, Dave Grohl (of Nirvana/Foo Fighters) on drums, and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss) taking care of vocals and rhythm guitar work. This was their first and (so far) only record.

What makes the record so special is its throwback vibes delivered with modern kerfuffle and sincerity. Top notch production means that John Paul Jones’ masterful bass work can actually be heard. Grohl pounds the drums like you’ve never heard him pound drums. Josh Homme is in top form. The band sounds like a Zeppelin-inspired Queens of the Stone Age most of the time, but that’s a great thing because it makes all these guys better.

Each of the songs is worth listening to, with nary a bad one in the record, but the best songs tend to be the long ones. Zeppelin was always at their best when they were free to write epic rockers, and the formula works here too. I can’t recommend this album enough; it’s one of my favourites.