And now for something completely different…
I skimmed the VCV entries for the last few days and my haven't we been a bit somber? We've had Switchfoot and Haiti, The National, Shelby Lynne, and even Barenaked Ladies. There are serious challenges in these times and music and our art reflects that. It's good to consider the dark, the uncomfortable, and the solemn but all work and no play makes us forget why we even bother. It's not just rock and roll. The redemptive power of music comes not only from its ability to inspire and educate but also from its power to move, uplift, transform, inspire, and entertain.
Enter Them Crooked Vultures, a supergroup featuring Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. If you're looking for serious ruminations and dirges on pain and mortality, this is not your record and TCV make that clear from the outset with "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I."
You don't ruin a riff like this with existential contemplations or pedantic screeds about man's inhumanity to man. If you're blessed with a riff like this you dedicate it to the politics of the party, not party politics. Josh Homme combines the meaty, meatheaded psychedelic riffs of his QOTSA work with the classicist riffs of Zeppelin while Grohl provides a steady, grooving, thunderous beat in the tradition of John Bonham. What separates "No One Loves Me" and the best songs on TCV's self-titled debut is Grohl and Homme's ability to take the Zeppelin DNA and recombine it. The influence is there without the imitation.
"No One Loves Me" has its share of clever turns of phrase but don't mistake that for nuance or subtlety. This is a riff-laden ode to raunch and debauchery. It's not an original concept, but it is inspired. Of course there are 100,000 songs just like it because we need them. There will always be a sourpuss to remind us everything is going to hell; sometimes you gotta tune them out because "it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive."