• Rahul Mahesh

THEM CROOKED VULTURES



Artist: Them Crooked Vultures

Release date: 16 November 2009



Label: Interscope Records



Recorded: January–August 2009 at Pink Duck Studios, Los Angeles, California


When it comes to musicians who have redefined the course of the musical and creative discourse, there are a few individuals and groups that come to mind. The idea of having these characters come together to form a band that combines all of their individuals styles, a “super group” has announced its arrival. The often overused word these days, the term has never rang any truer than with the arrival of Them Crooked Vulture. Just as quirky as its name, the combined history and talent that grace this band is amazing to say the least. The rugged notoriety of the grunge era resonated by the multi-talented Dave Grohl, who helms the drum kit once again in this band. That in itself should create a ripple across the music world. If that’s not enough, the devious seduction that has become a trademark of the Queens of the Stone Age. The sultry voice of Josh Homme with his trademark charm and gloomy cadence. The magic potion that glues all these phenomenal elements is one man who is considered a mammoth in the rock n’ roll business, John Paul Jones. We know him as the bassist in Led Zeppelin; but little has been told about his immense talent with any instrument that is given to his hands. The ultimate amalgamation of the best that music has to offer, this pan-generational band crossed all barriers when they came out with their debut self-titled album in 2009.

The album is a scattered expression of the angst and anger of the sounds of a lost generation. The musicality of the entire album plays itself to crescendo, a tribute to the brilliance that is resident to this band. Nobody Loves Me, a piece that brings in the bass line and the power drums that is expected of this line up. The musical jumpstart that the album pushes its agenda to its audience. The follow-up pieces like Dead End Friends and New Fang are nothing but brilliant portrayal of the talent that has stood the test of time. Even though Elephants stand out to be the favourable and popular song on this album among others, it is the small smash hits in between that steal the thunder for me. The resounding blues riffs that is found in Scumbag Blues and Interlude with Ludes gives us a throwback into a lost era. The latter being a pretty modernist venture into tunes that we find prevalent and overused in most of today’s rock songs. There is a little bit of everything in this album, in that every artist that belongs in this band have found their own signatures in every song. The grunge-based power hitting of the Nirvana years channelled by Dave Grohl; the classic youthful mischief of Josh Homme and of course the masterful musicality of John Paul Jones. The rhythm section seems to have been solid and set in this band which can be seen in their many live performances.

That being said this is not an album without certain unimpressive pieces like Gunman, Bandoliers and Mind Eraser seem too unnecessarily indulgent. The most powerful piece in my opinion in this album that is holistic in all senses has to be Spinning In Daffodils. The opening that masquerades a powerhouse that is about to implode within your ears. Lyrically sound and musically brilliant, this piece is every bit a masterful expression of John Paul Jones’s genius. He alternates between bass and keys making him one of the most versatile performers to ever grace the music stage. A true testament to a time when power was a creative expression rather than a corporate enforcement for commercial success. For a true audiophile, this is worth the investment. In the hopes for an explosive return, all we can do is patiently wait for another Them Crooked Vultures resurrection.

ART CREDIT:

Album Art: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/361976888778955457/

Feature Image: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/497014508856573917/

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Rahul Mahesh.Writer.Portfolio. Mumbai. 

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