(11/21/2021) Them Crooked Vultures (Self-titled)

Released November 13, 2009

Tracklist:

  1. No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
  2. Mind Eraser, No Chaser
  3. New Fang
  4. Dead End Friends
  5. Elephants
  6. Scumbag Blues
  7. Bandoliers
  8. Reptiles
  9. Interlude With Ludes
  10. Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up
  11. Caligulove
  12. Gunman
  13. Spinning in Daffodils

Favorite track: Spinning in Daffodils

Them Crooked Vultures is a sick as hell side project that I really hope sees a second wind someday. I just wanna say that if anyone tries to tell you this sounds just like Queens of the Stone Age 2, I will say that the similarities are definitely there but each musician in TCV brings their own strengths to the table. It's like QOTSA, but it isn't at the same time. Josh Homme (QOTSA, Kyuss) is on lead guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) on drums, and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass, keyboard, and everything else.

I've been obsessed with this album for a while, but during this particular listen through I discovered that songs I typically would skip actually were amazing, particularly Mind Eraser, No Chaser. The whole album is consistently amazing, with each new track seeming to be more hard-hitting than the last. Each song is jam packed full of heart-pumping instrumentation with Josh Homme's lyricism stringing you along for the rest of the journey. It's overwhelming in the best way possible, although it does graciously give you a break midway through with Interlude With Ludes.

It's hard to pin down the exact vibe of this record. It's violent and sinister but makes you feel like you just showed up to a party. Even then, you can feel the sincerity in the melodic passages of tracks like Elephants and Spinning In Daffodils. This record is just pure self-indulgence from some of the best rock musicians on the planet.

One thing I assume people say critically is that the songs and album in GENERAL are too long, although I'm not the type of guy who minds listening to long albums. One of my favorite live performances is a 7 minute song stretched out to 20 minutes so you can see how this doesn't bother me at all. I will say that it does sort of drag a little bit near the end with Warsaw, since that song in *particular* does really feel like they just recorded a jam sesh. The length does not add anything if you already dislike the music, so it all depends on your own personal enjoyment.

I will say though, I loved this album, if it wasn't already obvious. It's got a consistent intensity that I just adored listening to and kept me excited and on edge for the entire 66 minute runtime. It's just long enough that it doesn't keep you wanting there to be more, it goes on just long enough. Spinning in Daffodils perfectly and explosively caps off the record in 7 minutes. Although after 11 years and no new releases, I am still craving more from these guys.

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