Away from the mic in the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl has been part of two of the rock albums of the past decade: his own Probot side project in 2004 and his drum god outing on Queens of the Stone Age's 'Songs for the Deaf' in 2002.

So the news that Grohl had found the time to team up again with Queens of the Stone Age mainman Josh Homme, and that Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones was their bassist, had Them Crooked Vultures sounding like the best way to end 2009 before the record was even released.

Lower the metal horns a little bit: it's not as colossal as your imagination built it up to be, but there's enough good stuff to say that this shouldn't just be a one-off.

Those spooky, see-saw riffs and woozy choruses of Homme's abound; Jones is great on bass and Grohl once again inspires air drumming throughout. But the infuriating thing about Them Crooked Vultures is that the power trio don't use all the powers at their disposal.

Grohl should have been on lead vocals far more and with Jones' keyboards talents underused, the record lacks the variety of moods which he is able to summon. It's also about three tracks too long.

If they fix those faults next time, and make everything as strong as 'Mind Eraser, No Chaser' and 'Gunman', Them Crooked Vultures will be a lot more than the Zep/Queens/Probot warm-up/chaser that they are right now.

Harry Guerin