So, a new section to “How Royce Rolls” (Oh yeah, in case my legion of fans were blissfully unaware, this blog is now called “How Royce Rolls”. A little egocentric I know, but nice play on words don’t you think?) is “Music”! I’m big on music and music is big on me.
Possibly the worst answer to any question is when you ask someone what type of music they’re into and they reply “a bit of everything” or “all sorts” or something similar. But in all honestly, and unfortunately for the person who posed this ill-fated question, this response is almost always true! And I have to admit, I am definitely one of these annoying people. Without a doubt, I enjoy a variety of music… with the exception of country, opera and polka. Does anyone born prior to 1950 like polka? I very much doubt it.
From Diana Ross to Deftones, Marvin Gaye to Metallica, Elton John to Everclear, Mumford & Sons to MGMT, The Killers to Kanye West, Lilly Allen to Led Zeppelin, Jay-Z to Jurassic 5, Fat Freddy’s Drop to Foo Fighters, System of a Down to Shapeshifter… the list goes on.
The inaugural music topic for my rant on music is the recent proliferation of “Supergroups”. A mixture of has-beens, also-rans and some genuine grade-A talent have inter-mingled to re-hash their older days and, in the process, cash in on the trend for silly-sounding band names and the high novelty factor prevailing the formation of such groups. And I put this all down to the Travelling bloody Wilburys (Although the likes of Cream and Crosby, Stills & Nash could probably bear some responsibility also). Yes, they were good. But look what they’ve done.
Now, the Travelling WIlburys were pretty darned awesome actually AND had all the good intentions of writing some fantastic melodies, groovy tunes and, let’s face it, they ended up penning some enduring classics such as “Handle with Care” and “End of the Line”. And how couldn’t you with guys like Bob Dylan, George Harrsion, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison strutting their respective stuffs. But what they didn’t know is that others would try and emulate this formula… with varying degrees of success.
A comprehensive list of “supergroups” can be found here. Check ’em out! Quite a few huh?
For mine, I was a big fan of Audioslave. Chris Cornell is an amazing vocalist and long may Soundgarden’s back catalogue grace the presence of any self-respecting rock album collection. Then all Audioslave songs started sounding the same and, as an aside to RATM’s king-of-awesome-riffs Mr Morello – you do have an annoying habit of arranging digitally-enhanced squeaky guitar pieces that make my ears ring in a bad way.
I was briefly a fan of Velvet Revolver and then, despite Slash being Capatin Cool, they got shit. End of story.
Then Them Crooked Vultures arrived. I was very skeptical. I thought “Dave, Dave, Dave (Grohl)… how could you do this to me?” And then two names popped up. 1. Josh Homme – one of the coolest gingas in rock AND 2. John Paul Jones – the bass guitarist for the awesomest rock band of all time, Led Zeppelin. So then I thought “I’ve gotta check this shit out!” And I’m frickin’ glad I did. They rock.
Combine the swagger and side-mouth southern drawl of frontman Josh Homme (no stranger to fans of QOTSA, Kyuss & Eagles of Death Metal), the never-miss-a-beat grooviness and inventiveness of Led Zep genius Paul Jones and the unrelenting, stampede of craziness that Grohl provides behind a drum kit and you’ve got this amazing blend of old-school rock meets dirty rock-blues meets spaced-out-because-I-frickin’-can awesomeness… in my humble opinion anyway. They have a style all their own with brief glimpses of each of their “other” musical forays. They are also exceptionally good live in concert.