Them Crooked Vultures, "Them Crooked Vultures"
With Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme on guitar/ vocals, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass/keyboards, Them Crooked Vultures' self-titled debut comes with a high pedigree and even higher expectations. Like Monsters of Folk (Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis), this rock supergroup delivers by drawing upon each member's talents and creating a sound that's refreshingly singular and remarkably fun. "Them Crooked Vultures" features technically polished, bluesy guitar-driven bar rock, with the song "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and first single "New Fang" relying on start-stop tempos and punishing solos. While Jones adds depth on bass and Grohl's drumming is predictably top-notch, Homme commands the spotlight throughout the album with sexually charged yet haunting vocals. "I don't need a reason, baby/Put your arms around me," he sings on "Caligulove" before an unexpected keyboard solo sweeps the track in a different direction. The set may be a one-off experiment, but the band's chemistry points to a potentially bright future with this star-studded lineup.-Jason Lipshutz