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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures

Rating: 8.9/10 ?

November 26, 2009
A blues-rock guitarist joins forces with one-fourth of the defining blues-rock band. The bassist behind a legendary drummer backs another giant. The drummer on Queens of the Stone Age ringmaster Josh Homme's best album reunites with Homme. Is it really a surprise Them Crooked Vultures is so strong?

Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones-yep, they of Nirvana and Led Zeppelin fame-revise their enormously influential playing styles as Homme improves his, with hardcore-bred Grohl's novel mixture of syncopation and swing and Jones' ironclad application of modern (and badass) bass approach. As the riff on "New Fang" scrambles your perception of timing and "Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I" and "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" make Slipknot reevaluate their self-worth, even the less brutal late-starters don't disappoint on initial listen.

But it's still the ferocity of the aptly-named "Elephants" that shows what this new band is about. A Zep lick finds smoothly double-timed drumming out of nowhere, to be replaced yet again by contorted rhythmic subdivisions. It's easy to imagine Homme's piercing glare and imposing frame facing Grohl, demanding to see the beast who delivered on Nevermind nearly two decades ago. Conversely, proven somebodies Jones and Grohl light a fire under Homme's ass to energize his singing in a way the self-described "robot-rock" limitations of QOTSA never pushed out.

Although the loud tracks are the most immediate, the subtleties of later numbers like "Reptiles" prove nearly as rewarding,; don't even think of stopping play before "Gunman" shows what these pros do with a dance number.

The trifecta of riff-, groove- and jam-based tracks form something unusual for these projects: an item that will last the test of time, something that all three of these guys are very, very used to-and that the promise of supergroups like Them Crooked Vultures rarely, rarely live up to.

Reviewed by JJ Lang

See other reviews by JJ Lang



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