Sound — 10
Whenever news of a new supergroup comes out, everyone gets inevitably excited about how awesome the band is going to sound, the the album is released and a major letdown occurs. This is the case in nearly all of the situations, but the say Them Crooked Vultures is a let down would be perpetrating one of the biggest lies I could conceive. This album may be one of the finest debut albums ever produced and could contend for album of the year. The awesome sound, as expected, comes from Dave Grohl on drums, Josh Homme on guitar and vox, and John Paul Jones on bass. This supergroup came in knowing exactly what they wanted to produce from what I can gather from this epic disc and they executed with perfection. 01. No One Loves Me and Neither Do I: starts the album with a little bluesy type music. You get into right from the start, feel the need to move around a little bit, then the sound builds to a climax around 2:44 where it kicks into balls to the walls rock mode and refusing headbanging is nearly impossible. 02. Mind Eraser, No Chaser: continues right where track one left of. The intro is very reminiscent of Velvet Revolver but Homme's vocals make the song quite distinct. This track isn't one of my favorites but it's still solid nonetheless. 03. New Fang: the first single off the album is a pretty solid choice for it. This one also has a certain groove to it and is amazingly fun to play along to no matter what instrument you play. 04. Dead End Friends: is one of my favorites on the album. This one is probably most like Homme's past work in QOTSA, but the sound is by no means a copy, it just has a similar vibe, which is fine by me. 05. Elephants: also starts out with a great guitar riff. Another of my favorites on the album because it's like nothing you've heard before. 06. Scumbag Blues: is just what the title implies. It's some nice gritty blues with a catchy groove to it. This stretch of the album is about as solid as it gets. 07. Bandoliers: starts with a simple guitar riff, but the tone on it makes it seem almost personal to the listener, as if they knew the intentions of the song exactly. It's melancholy and Homme's vocals only drive home the mood. A great piece of music. 08. Reptiles: sounds like a quazi mix of a piece of slide-guitar country music and some beat that came straight from hell. It's got some great quality I can't quite place my finger on, but the song makes you want to get up and dance. 09. Interlude: with Ludes really does sound like a cornerstone from the soundtrack of a carnival in Hades. Homme's lyrics are really haunting. At first, this song didn't really do anything for me, but it has grown on me a considerable amount. It's actually a bit scary, both in terms of fright and how exceptional a band this really is. 10. Warsaw or the First Breath You Take: features a really low, perfectly distorted guitar riff which makes you feel slightly dirty after listening to it. Then the chorus kicks in and reassures you that it's not so bad, considering the church like choir backing Homme. 11. Caligulove: starts out with some guitars and organs and keeps a simple but heavy guitar throughout. Not one of my favorites, but the song still is interesting and doesn't at all warrant a skip, especially for the fact that Homme's vocals are so intriguing. 12. Gunman: is the irresistible dance track of the album. It has such a catchy drum beat to it coupled with a funky bass/guitar line. Sitting still during Gunman is impossible. 13. Spinning in the Daffodils: starts with a beautifully haunting piano piece then some scratching leads into a nearly equally haunting guitar and vocal work. A perfect way to end the album.
Lyrics — 10
While I haven't delved into the lyrics in depth, it's clear Josh knows exactly what the group wanted and he executed. They compliment the mood of the music perfectly. There's not much else I can comment on in the category, except that they're brilliant. If you like Homme's work in QOTSA, then you'll inevitably like his work here. If you've never heard QOTSA or don't like them, this album is in a style that you'll enjoy nonetheless. You have to respect what he has done on this album in comparison with most mod. rock singers. It's unique in a grand way.
Overall Impression — 10
I would recommend this album to any rock fan. While I thought that no album could compete with Muse' The Resistance for album of the year in my mind, Them Crooked Vultures has come along and put something out so unheard of, so amazing, that it may warrant that honor. Rolling Stone called the the greatest supergroup of all time and I'd be hard pressed to disagree with them. Them Crooked Vultures is a must buy, you will not be disappointed. I would love to give the album something other than a 10, but I cannot find any flaws severe enough that makes the album less than perfectly enjoyable for me.