Them Crooked Vultures, 'Them Crooked Vultures' (DGC/Interscope)

Critical Mass
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by Mikael Wood

"Just me and my dead-end friends again," sings Josh Homme on the debut album by Them Crooked Vultures. Homme's pals here aren't exactly of the dead-end variety: In addition to the Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Vultures comprises Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters on drums and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards. (Lemmy must've been busy.) Believe it or not, though, this appealingly lightweight set of funky robo-rock jams actually makes good on Homme's promise; sleazed-out riff bombs like "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "Scumbag Blues" (the latter with a killer Clavinet solo) sound like the fruit of some weed-smoky rec-room freak-out. Only, y'know, with three of the world's heaviest hitters instead of your older brother's buddies.

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