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Exciting rock news in the past few days/weeks/months. What is easily one of the most exciting super groups of all time, Them Crooked Vultures, announced that their debut album will be officially released in just a few days on November 16-17, 2009. I don't know about you all, but I've got my copy on pre-order and have been anxiously awaiting that very first listen.
But them there's more news! The band has decided to have the entire album available for free to be listened to, streaming on their website. I like this idea. The Queens of the Stone Age did this for their last release too and I like that it allows the fans to hear the album before they buy it, but is still controlled by the band... as opposed to being pirated etc.
I should have resisted listening to the album, but I couldn't... now the next few days until I have my copy will be even more difficult.
Why you ask? Well because this album sounds AWESOME!
At the most basic when compared to the other bands of it's primary members, I guess I'd pick the Queens of the Stone Age as the closest match... as opposed to the Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin, but not by much because there are definite influences from all three throughout. Plus, that comparison to me just doesn't by any stretch of the imagination do this band justice.
Those slightly twisted guitar licks and psychedelic atmospherics are surely the product of Josh Homme, and of course he's also belting out great lyrics in his usual baritone. He's backed up strongly on vocals by Dave Grohl, who's drumming is as absolutely massive as ever... just monstrous. And, although it's hard to describe, it seems like every song, every part just has something unmistakable to it that screams John Paul Jones... the grooves, bluesy swagger, touches of haunting mystic flavors, melodic flourishes, and of course those sinewy bass and keyboard lines... I hear his stamp and influence everywhere.
I've streamed this album a couple of times not only is it catchy and heavy hitting, but it's progressive and interesting. I haven't found a song I'm not really digging yet, but if I was going to pick an early favorite, I think it'd be “Elephants”. With it's twisting guitar opening before kicking everything up to 11 and taking off it's just brimming with guitar riffs, a seductive darkness, haunting choruses, plenty of grit and raw power... like I said, awesome. I'm also really liking “Scumbag Blues”, with it's engaging, pure rock and roll strut, blended with a funky back beat... also awesome... and the totally twisted “Reptiles” with it's primal grind and eastern flavor.
It's definitely a rock album, but not one that really sounds like anything else I can think of. Maybe a true example that this collaboration is more than just the sum of it's parts. Of course the sum of the parts alone would have been pretty sweet... Them Crooked Vultures though, sound just incredible.
Still, definitely take a listen for yourself and make up your own mind. I'm pretty certain though that once I get this album it won't be leaving my play list for a very long time.
You can stream the whole album on the bands website here: http://www.themcrookedvultures.com/
You can also check it out along with a few other clips and promotional videos, on their YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/themcrookedvultures#p/a/u/1/YdBYD18LK7c