Them Crooked Vultures leave nothing left to want

Who are they?

You’ve heard these guys in other incarnations: Dave Grohl from Nirvana and Foo Fighters, John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age. During the past four years, they have collaborated and appeared live as a band, including a performance in Austin, before releasing their self-titled first album in the U.S. on Tuesday.

As a band

It’s easy to be wary of supergroups. When musicians with incompatible sounds and styles decide to play together, it sounds a bit like your mom put all of Sunday’s leftovers in one container. But don’t expect to hear anything of the sort when you pick up this album. Yes, their styles are pervasive. With Grohl on drums, Jones on bass and Homme on guitar and lead vocals, you’ll be able to hear the distinct sound that each musician developed during their decades of work in the music industry. But instead of sounding like a hodgepodge of the trio’s previous bands, each track is a completely new, interesting and cohesive product from three talented musicians.

What to expect

Grohl slamming out interesting and unexpected shifts in time signature mid-song; guitar solos with unmistakable roots in blues music that speed up and intensify under Homme’s quick fingers. Jones offering his heavy expertise on the bass guitar and making a gloom-and-doom appearance on the organ in “Caligulove”. This album is the epitome of real rock music in an era of pansy rock (I’m looking at you, Coldplay) and presents vicious lyrics about human interactions and the struggle for power along with striking album artwork displaying only black, white and red coloration.

The best parts

Every track on this album is excellent, and there’s not a song worth skipping over. But it’s hard not to be partial to the expressively drawn-out vocals on the opening track “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I.” The dramatic fuzz guitar solo on “Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up” drives the rest of the song into interesting shifts in rhythm and melody. Lastly, hearing Jones on the organ is a treat not to be missed, so “Caligulove” definitely has a place on this list.

Ideal for

Disproving the theory that rock music is dead, bonding with parents over mutual respect for John Paul Jones (hey, he brought them “Stairway to Heaven” before he brought you “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”), gray winter days, tapping your feet on long drives, political discussions, air guitar, living room mosh pits. This album just raised the bar for rock music, so clear out some space on your shelf and get ready for a pleasant surprise.