Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures (Sony) 

It would be far more interesting to write about a supergroup composed of Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Josh Homme if the music sounded nothing like a combination of Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age. But that is exactly what Them Crooked Vultures sounds like. See the cover of Rolling Stone, Hardeep Phull's review in The New York Times and the band's own description of their sound on their Web site for resounding concurrences.

But even though Them Crooked Vultures sounds just like what you'd expect, the actual music is still exciting and fresh. It's a testament to Grohl's and Jones' unique rock stylings that no matter what band they play drums or bass in, respectively, the result will sound undeniably like them. But what is strange is that the Nirvana-Zeppelin blend actually seems to be transmitted through Homme, as if he's the catalyst that makes the blend work. On the first track, "No One Loves Me and Neither Do I," it's Homme's guitar that sounds the most like Zeppelin, and the most Nirvana moment is at the end of the song when Jones, Grohl and Homme lock in for a quick freakout.

The album as a whole leans more toward Jones' Zeppelin realm than anything else, but that is as it should be; if any contemporary rock musicians are going to be allowed to rehash Zeppelin, it's Dave Grohl and Josh Homme, precisely because they can do it and still sound like themselves. Or, like Them Crooked Vultures.

More by Annie Holub

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