Album: Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures (RCA)

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The Independent Culture

At a time when it's widely assumed that Jack White and a handful of unknown indie chums merits the accolade, Them Crooked Vultures is a supergroup worthy of the term, in the classic rock tradition of Blind Faith and ELP.

Not only have its members – Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Josh Homme – garnered millions of album sales, but two of their earlier groups, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, were the most important bands of their respective eras. In this case, though, it's Queens of the Stone Age's Homme who's most responsible for the Vultures' direction, contributing lyrics, vocals and the overdubbed guitar parts that throng the Zep-style bulldozer riffs of tracks such as "Gunman" and "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I" – the latter song comprised of bitterly sardonic lines lines like "You can't always do right, but you can always do what's left". Not all the lyrics are as sharp, but there's a chunky power to the trio's work that makes up for such shortcomings in tracks like "Dead End Friends". Jones is best represented on the elegant bassline of "Reptiles" and funky clavinet of "Scumbag Blues", while Grohl's drum barrage on "New Fang" is the perfect undercarriage for Homme's multiple staccato guitar lines.

Download this Gunman; Scumbag Blues; Dead End Friends; Reptiles