Sunday, April 18, 2010

These Crooked Vultures

Another one of Melanie’s impulse purchases on Record Store Day was the CD by this “super group” comprised of none other than John Paul Jones (Led Zep, natch), Dave Grohl (returning to his usual, and superior, instrument, the drums) and Joshua Homme from the Queens of the Stone Age.

Much of the record is similar in style to the Queens, Eagles of Death Metal and the White Stripes, as it seems like much new “alternative” music is these days. This experiment is highlighted by the superb rhythm section, though – it’s a shame that Grohl is no longer mainly a drummer since he excels at this and as a guitarist, he is competent, but far from exciting.

“Scumbag Blues” is a nice departure from the norm here, with its funky backbeat, cool electric piano by Jones and some exceptional lead guitar, which is missing from much of the record. Even the vocals here sound almost like Jack Bruce, with some Cream/Zeppelin-like chord changes. Good stuff! Some more interesting riffs and sounds appear in “Bandoliers”, with Zep-like feels and remarkable drums highlighting the tune.

The guys change things up throughout the album (“Gunman” sounds almost like a disco-infused Bauhaus), so it is not too same-y, but the basic formula remains – somewhat dissonant, a-rhythmic wackiness that all of these cats excel in. Not something that I would listen to every day, but for the style, this is where it’s at!