Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (2009)

It is indisputable and perhaps undeserving of mention that far and wide across the interwebs in forums, blogs, magazines and any other media depositories, everyone who rocks out with their cock out (or not!) invariably feels they have found something so awe-inspiring and powerful, so utterly bonkers and brilliant, so fucking genius, that they feel communally impelled to share with us that they also feel, in their most astute and clever opinions, that Them Crooked Vultures sound similar to Zep, QTSA and Nirvana/Foos. No shit, really?!?! I kind of thought they sounded like Abba on my first listen, but that's me.

But seriously, since the concert I saw them at, the subsequent streaming of the entire album on YouTube and now, the finished clarity of the real actual thing, I've been calling these guys filthy -- filthy as in fucks your face up if you're dumb enough to get in front of it. This is simply rock in all of its glorious phases, from the sophisticated time signature shifts to the filthy sludgy boozy jams to the riffs, oh beautiful bruising hammer of the gods riffs, to the fact that this band effortlessly melds classic rock and modern rock -- it's a wonder they gel so well after such short time. The album begins with "Nobody Loves Me & Neither Do I," a great opener that begins fairly innocuously -- almost as if you thought these guys were going to play it safe, stupid and sucky a la Chickenfoot , and then -- oh glorious spark of heaven -- JPJ bass nukes the proceedings. From there it never really lets up: aside from the buoyant but straightforward "New Fang," TCV burns through a litany of rockfests with the weird queasiness of "Interludes With Ludes" to break up the momentum. We get to hear some fantastic Jack Bruce falsetto imitation on one of my favorite tracks, "Scumbag Blues," which features some filthy guitar-work as does "Reptiles," my other favorite. "Elephants" begins fairly ferociously and then settles into a slow tempo throttle. "Warsaw, Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up" is a nasty blues number that morphs into a filthy boogie jam and immediately follows "Interludes" thereby saying, more or less, that the brief break is over. "Spinning With Daffodils" ends the album and begins with a piano intro that is quickly drowned out by crunchy guitar. Oh, and "Gunman" -- this was the filthiest guitar when I saw them in concert, but yet they made the whole song funky as hell. Bad? Oh no, not at all. It's ridiculously good.

All in all, Dave Grohl was a manic beast in concert and that energy isn't quite up to snuff here, but he's still pretty amazing. JPJ is everywhere and lets you know it, and Josh Homme basically wants to pound every riff he can think of into your head. The result? Best album of the year and maybe for the past few years. It's that good.

Oh, and go see them any chance you get!