Them Crooked Vultures review by Them Crooked Vultures

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Nov 17, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (201 votes)
Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures
0

Sound — 9
I'd say the band has a classic rock sound but a bit heavier, faster, and funkier. There are also some psychedelic/progressive influences. The guitar tones are very similar to those used in QOTSA. Parts of the record are very very reminiscent of later works by the Beatles. For example there is a weird ending to Mind Eraser that I believe is just a trumpet.

Lyrics — 9
Josh Homme has a very unique lyrical style which has really grown on me, especially on this record. A few of the songs seem to be about sexual attraction. I would call them love songs but they're more about lust than love, which I like since love songs are usually pretty corny. My favorite songs lyrically and otherwise are Mind Eraser and Dead End Friends. To me Dead End Friends seems to have many meanings but I think mainly it is about Heroin and those who use it. Lines like "nights in these veins it's calling me, racing through these arteries" lead me to believe that. Parts of the song seem like Homme is the user and Heroin his Dead End Friend, while other parts give the feeling that he is talking about someone else. Mind Eraser seems to be very much about ignorance and happiness. It features some of my favorite lines ever such as "give me the reason why the minds a terrible thing to waste? Understanding is cruel the monkey said as it launched to space" I'd say in general Homme's lyrics are sort of all over the place. At times he makes it difficult to see what the subject of the song is. This may bother some people, but I personally like it more, as I find lyrics that are too literal to be boring since there's not much to interpret from them.

Overall Impression — 9
I love this album and would replace it if it were lost/stolen. I find the the first four tracks to be significantly better than any others. Those are No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, New Fang, Mind Eraser, and Dead End Friends, after those my next favorite track is Bandoliers. I think this band sounds most like QOTSA, I don't think they sound the least bit like the other artists (Grohl, Jones) previous acts. I also think they distance themselves from previous acts and their influences enough that I wouldn't really compare them to any other band. Aside from maybe QOTSA only because the vocals and guitar tone is similar (as to be expected). Overall this is a great album, one of my top three of the year along with Daisy (Brand New) and BGWTB (AiC). I would recommend the album to anyone who likes QOTSA and/or anyone who likes semi-heavy music that's got a lot of energy.

102 comments sorted by best / new / date

    .QOTSA.
    My user name may make me appear bias, but I don't care, this really is a great album!
    shwilly
    I'm gonna be conservative and give it an 8+ Yes it sounds super tight. Yes the songs are great. No it's not a Josh Homme solo-ish project: you can definetly hear some similarities with some early Desert Sessions material, but Grohl's groove adds a whole new flavor and JPJ is all over the place > I mean, i liked the Chickenfoot album but if you replaced even Joe Satriani with another virtuoso I wouldn't be able to tell the difference because most bits sound kind of replacable. With this band tho you can DEFINETLY hear it's the bassist from Led Zeppelin you're listening to Still, you know they can always write better songs, which is probably the only thing left to improve. Just by listening to the album you can tell these guys took this project pretty damn serious and it would be a waste to throw it all away after just one release. Plus, they still have to release their "Songs for the Deaf"... Good times
    MegaRockFace
    When I first heard about this band, I kept comparing them to Chickenfoot and Monkey Steals the Peach. But now that I've listened to the record, I firmly believe that these guys blow every other supergroup away with their amazing QOTSA-Blues style
    kgesme21
    Best supergroup album since Audioslave's self-titled imo. Ten's all around.
    Chaduah
    Does anyone else think that interlude with ludes kinda sounds like 'Im Designer'. Well, the lyrics at least... Great album though, really fresh!
    Deus Panico
    I still can't believe someone had the guts to wrote a review on them crooked vultures with the words "muse" and "resistance" in it.
    Chirp08
    beradkay wrote: pretty sure. alain johannes does backing vocals, not dave, says in the cd insert, if any of you actualy bought it.
    If you go to a show you'll get to see Dave and JPJ sing backing vocals. Alain sings the chorus on Warsaw basically himself which is why he gets CD credit.
    The Pickle Man
    Crimson Ghost wrote: I think Jack White would've worked better for the band than Josh Homme though
    Jack White would have shat on the riff work of this album, as he does not have the technical proficiency that Homme has. Replacing Homme with White would have changed everything about the style of the music.
    huevos
    I must see this. I enjoy all 3 bands, as they are some best bands the mainstream has to offer. I mean, they happen to be classics in their own right.
    Uranutan
    I've only listened to the first 3 songs on the album so far, but it kinda blows. Josh is way out of his element.
    fives+sevens
    i got caught up in this albums hype. it's absolutely gash. what with homme on vocals it just sounds like tunes that were left off of QOTSA albums. i'm quite a big fan of QOTSA but for this; ALL the stops should have been pulled out. which they weren't. 3/10
    InMyHead_x
    I'm totally in love with this album. I haven't listened to any other band since I got the album a week ago, it just blows my mind! What an amazing combo of musicians, brilliant idea. =]
    death_rider
    I think this CD holds a great rockin groove to it. For the people hatin on this album I think maybe you should remove from your mind the band members and listen to it as something entirely new instead of having high musical expectations. Listen to it as it is maybe you can appreciate it a bit more. Take it in, it groovy and has a lot of interesting riffs, drum beats etc... that being said it isnt a full 10 out of 10, but its a killer cd none the less!!
    ilikeguitar90
    I think the album is great, but I'll admit it, It doesn't blow my mind or anything. There isn't anything on here that was just amazingly creative or innovative to me. Just a straight up rocker, and that's what I like about it. I saw them live on 11/19, and they put on a hell of a show. So much energy, and dave grohl is still a beast behind those drums. I give the album an 8/10.
    Clemo103
    I saw the reading festival on tv a few days ago, and they were the mystery act. They were amazing! Such a tight band,and the riffs were excellent. Can't wait to get the album.
    gnrledzep4eva
    I have this album and saw them when they came to the Fox Theatre in Oakland. It was a good show, but since I wasn't too familiar with the material it was harder to get into. Now that I've listened to it more. I can say that I'm not much into it except for a few songs, such as "Elephant" and "Nobody Loves Me..." I'm not much into Josh's voice, and there's something about his style that I just can't get into. Grohl tears it up on just about everything he comes across, and of course JPJ is always there to add his musical expertise. It's an interesting album and definitely worth a listen. I'd say just go out and see what you think for yourself!
    Streetking07
    Amazing album, I didn't like it as much as I do now when I first heard it, but when I hear it now I get hard.
    monkey_dancer
    Why is it that all the people posting here who don't like it are stating that it is objectively bad. It's just your opinion, m'kay? Yeah, it sounds more like QOTSA than Led Zeppelin or Foo Fighters, and personally I think that is a very good thing. I really like the album, it's got a great sound (in my opinion!).
    ADDITIONAL INFO
    Wow lots of haters in here. You need to listen to the album with an open mind, not judge it by only hearing a few tracks. Some are exceptional, others are ok, but to say its not good cuz you dont like QOTSA or FF..well thats retarded. Oh and this: "I could write better material than most I have heard so far, and I really mean that.." wow really??? Lets hear it superstar!
    Tag43
    Awesome album. I was expecting good things, but got better. Fantastic!
    cooljew
    just because the groups got dave grohl and jpj doesn't mean i have to like it... i gave it a listen and i'm honestly not impressed. the whole thing seems real generic to me, its got no depth.... cool idea tho i'll admit.
    bazman13
    its a good album, most of the songs are good, some of the songs are great. It hasnt blown my mind, but I enjoy it alot.
    Ashland112
    Really digged it. The album had a real sexy groove to it with this ambience of strange. Definitely a keeper.
    soapalot
    I was expecting more variation on this album. Homme's guitar tone doesn't change for the entire album and that makes it a bit tedious. It's just one groover after another, a bit more experimentation with sonics would have made me a happier person. However, I did enjoy the album, it has some great songs on it with some very competent musicianship. I give it 7/10 Hopefully the second album is made in the down time of the members' respective bands, I wouldn't take this over Foo Fighters or QOTSA.
    TimboSlice
    oglockwood wrote: Hells.Mascot wrote: I think you have all gotten caught up in the hype. I think you came in with a preexisting bias which makes you want to hear a more consummate aural experience than what you actually hear. I haven't ever listened to QOTSA before so I don't have this bias. From what I can hear, this band's sound is too heavily dependent on what little I have heard of Josh Homme's work. I'm not saying that he isn't a good musician, but so far I have listened to the first three tracks and I can tell you it's not very good, and mostly because of him. It's mediocre at best; it's just not impressive, nothing that draws you in or inspires a cerebral awe. I could write better material than most I have heard so far, and I really mean that - well, if I could drum, that is. The album is also not mixed very well, but I don't know if it could have saved this if it was. I know Moulder's reputation precedes him, but he didn't do a very good job. The band members may have chemistry and all be fine musicians, but the arrangements are far less than what I would have expected from a band of this caliber. finally, a reasonable comment! and yes, like "chickenfoot," this band is a marketing scheme: throw together a couple of musicians from bands that are either defunct or way past their prime, name drop in every review, build up hype and the kids will buy it no matter how boring it actually is. best album of the decade? are you serious?
    Yes, a marketing scheme. QOTSA is probably not so profitable, Foo Fighters are awful, and JPJ HASN'T been offered hundreds of millions of dollars to reunite with Zeppelin in one incarnation or another. Oh wait. And to Hells.Mascot Kalamari is right, you should have listened to the entire album before judging it. Although you seem like there isn't much that would get you out of that headspace. I'm okay with that, I'd rather you not listen to it if you don't enjoy it. Also, don't treat something subjectively and then objectively state that you "could write better material"...totally detrimental to your post quality.
    Xakaryus
    I like Foo Fighters, I like QotSA, but this album just okay. This group just doesn't mesh well. The style is interesting and different, which I like, but a lot of it just wasn't great. I would expect musicians of this caliber to be creating spetacular music, but nothing is spectacular about this album. All of the songs are good at first, but get repetitive and boring. 5/10
    israels_son
    People can say whatever they want. I ****ing loved this album. Really good stuff.
    JChrist521
    I don't think anyone was considered for this besides who was in it. Homme and Grohl have collaborated already and Grohl asked JPJ if he was interested in working in a project with him and Homme. And I'm not sure how well Jack White would have fit in... I, personally wouldn't take Homme out because I like his style... I can understand where people are coming from who don't like it, but I didn't either when I got Lullabies to Paralyze back in 2005. I listened to it again in '08 and it had grown on me a ton. Also if you weren't expecting the band's sound to lean toward the sound of the lead singer/lead guitarist, I'm a little confused by your logic. I honestly was starting to lose interest in this album until I saw them live (which was awesome) and I haven't been listening to much else since. And those of you who weren't expecting a jam-oriented sound, two of the people are from bands who tend to jam quite a bit in their performances. and sinterpol, nice comeback...
    kalamari
    Hells.Mascot wrote: I think you have all gotten caught up in the hype. I think you came in with a preexisting bias which makes you want to hear a more consummate aural experience than what you actually hear. I haven't ever listened to QOTSA before so I don't have this bias. From what I can hear, this band's sound is too heavily dependent on what little I have heard of Josh Homme's work. I'm not saying that he isn't a good musician, but so far I have listened to the first three tracks and I can tell you it's not very good, and mostly because of him. It's mediocre at best; it's just not impressive, nothing that draws you in or inspires a cerebral awe. I could write better material than most I have heard so far, and I really mean that - well, if I could drum, that is. The album is also not mixed very well, but I don't know if it could have saved this if it was. I know Moulder's reputation precedes him, but he didn't do a very good job. The band members may have chemistry and all be fine musicians, but the arrangements are far less than what I would have expected from a band of this caliber.
    Dude, in the time it took you to write your review, you could have done the honourable thing and listened to the whole album. I'm practically high on "cerebral awe" every time I listen to this album; it's risky (and clearly quite divisive) and full of some of the best music that's come out in years. Looking forward to their second album already!
    oglockwood
    Hells.Mascot wrote: I think you have all gotten caught up in the hype. I think you came in with a preexisting bias which makes you want to hear a more consummate aural experience than what you actually hear. I haven't ever listened to QOTSA before so I don't have this bias. From what I can hear, this band's sound is too heavily dependent on what little I have heard of Josh Homme's work. I'm not saying that he isn't a good musician, but so far I have listened to the first three tracks and I can tell you it's not very good, and mostly because of him. It's mediocre at best; it's just not impressive, nothing that draws you in or inspires a cerebral awe. I could write better material than most I have heard so far, and I really mean that - well, if I could drum, that is. The album is also not mixed very well, but I don't know if it could have saved this if it was. I know Moulder's reputation precedes him, but he didn't do a very good job. The band members may have chemistry and all be fine musicians, but the arrangements are far less than what I would have expected from a band of this caliber.
    finally, a reasonable comment! and yes, like "chickenfoot," this band is a marketing scheme: throw together a couple of musicians from bands that are either defunct or way past their prime, name drop in every review, build up hype and the kids will buy it no matter how boring it actually is. best album of the decade? are you serious?
    Unknown Fear
    I think that Josh should not sing. This sounds too much like QotSA for me, while I wish it was a bit more different. A different singer would change that.
    Mordatuned
    man i love grohl on drums and jpj on bass, but still not sold on homme on vocals/lead guitar...seems they could've gotten someone a lot better to fill that position. only heard the song "new fang" so far (been getting plenty of air time on the radio, and it doesn't sound to shabby. i'll still probably check this album out
    chewychuckels
    i really liked this album. but i think Rolling Stone said that they recorded this really quickly. I think if they put more time in it, it could have been better. 8/10
    McTWITCHIN
    i agree Jack would have changed the chemistry of the group, but I've always felt that the three of them would perform wonders together.
    was jack really considered for this?? are you serious? it would have been amazing if he was in it, i dont' mind Homme, but jack white is a way better singer/guitarist/awesomedude.
    sinterpol
    rockonneil wrote: sinterpol wrote: Chaduah wrote: Does anyone else think that interlude with ludes kinda sounds like 'Im Designer'. Well, the lyrics at least... Great album though, really fresh! I thought that the first time I listened to it. That song should not be on the album. I love the record otherwise. Scumbag Blues if ****in tits! Fuck Rolling Stone and Fuck Pitchfork. 3 1/2 stars and 6.3 rating. By the way, for those that can't stand Homme's singing: at least Dave stay's behind the drums with backup vocals. It could've been worse. 8/10 Dave didn't lay down the backups on the album. Read the credits. Oh wait, you probably didn't even buy the album.
    No I didn't. Go tell my mommy gayboy!
    Crimson Ghost
    sinterpol wrote: Chaduah wrote: Does anyone else think that interlude with ludes kinda sounds like 'Im Designer'. Well, the lyrics at least... Great album though, really fresh! I thought that the first time I listened to it. That song should not be on the album. I love the record otherwise. Scumbag Blues if ****in tits! Fuck Rolling Stone and Fuck Pitchfork. 3 1/2 stars and 6.3 rating. By the way, for those that can't stand Homme's singing: at least Dave stay's behind the drums with backup vocals. It could've been worse. 8/10
    I think Dave has a much better voice than Josh. The album was pretty great, they were incredible live at the Roxy. I think Jack White would've worked better for the band than Josh Homme though
    Crimson Ghost
    The Pickle Man wrote: Crimson Ghost wrote: I think Jack White would've worked better for the band than Josh Homme though Jack White would have shat on the riff work of this album, as he does not have the technical proficiency that Homme has. Replacing Homme with White would have changed everything about the style of the music.
    how much jack white have you actually heard? He's an incredible guitarist. Check out "blue veins" live at coachella. BEAUTIFUL guitar work. I've seen Jack 5 times live and he was far more impressive than Josh Homme live i agree Jack would have changed the chemistry of the group, but I've always felt that the three of them would perform wonders together.
    Hells.Mascot
    I think you have all gotten caught up in the hype. I think you came in with a preexisting bias which makes you want to hear a more consummate aural experience than what you actually hear. I haven't ever listened to QOTSA before so I don't have this bias. From what I can hear, this band's sound is too heavily dependent on what little I have heard of Josh Homme's work. I'm not saying that he isn't a good musician, but so far I have listened to the first three tracks and I can tell you it's not very good, and mostly because of him. It's mediocre at best; it's just not impressive, nothing that draws you in or inspires a cerebral awe. I could write better material than most I have heard so far, and I really mean that - well, if I could drum, that is. The album is also not mixed very well, but I don't know if it could have saved this if it was. I know Moulder's reputation precedes him, but he didn't do a very good job. The band members may have chemistry and all be fine musicians, but the arrangements are far less than what I would have expected from a band of this caliber.
    OldEscape
    The Pickle Man wrote: Crimson Ghost wrote: I think Jack White would've worked better for the band than Josh Homme though Jack White would have shat on the riff work of this album, as he does not have the technical proficiency that Homme has. Replacing Homme with White would have changed everything about the style of the music.
    +1 I'm with The Pickle Man on this, Jack White would of shat on the record, I think Jack White would have ruined the album altogether.
    lenardthepie
    fives+sevens wrote: i got caught up in this albums hype. it's absolutely gash. what with homme on vocals it just sounds like tunes that were left off of QOTSA albums. i'm quite a big fan of QOTSA but for this; ALL the stops should have been pulled out. which they weren't. 3/10
    i couldn't agree more