I've spent a lot of time making the case that Dave Grohl is the bet drummer alive. Now, I know there are all sorts of metal drummers that have sick proficiency, and there are guys like Vinnie Paul, Travis Barker and this guy (and yes, the guy from Rush too), but give me a second here.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Queens of the Stone Age - Hanging Tree
From "Scentless Apprentice" to "Red War" (among others) on the Probot album to "Hanging Tree," Grohl has the technical stuff down. What he's got over all those other guys is a combination of luck and the ability to write, or at least play on, songs that capture well beyond the niche his band exists in, be it a pretty mass market rock band like Foo Fighters or a low-key display of love such as Probot, which is anything but low-key anyway.
I can vividly remember several conversations in 2002 and 2003 that centered around QUOTSA's third album, Songs For The Deaf, and Grohl's work on it. The songs, from lyrics to grooves, are on par with Rated R, the universally-acclaimed predecessor to Songs for The Deaf. The big difference, though, is the man pounding the skins.
Many of those conversations would start after the end of "Hanging Tree," the last 30 seconds of which is some fast pounding, not that the rest of the song isn't, but the whiplash from that part makes you look back over the former Nirvana drummer's career. At this point, ten years after "Hanging Tree" was even released, you've got Probot, several Foo Fighters albums, the Nine Inch Nails album With Teeth, and, possibly most notably, the self-titled album from Them Crooked Vultures.
Teaming with QUOTSA's Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the trio evoke images of all three of their primary bands, but when Jones started telling interviewers how much Grohl reminded him of playing with Zeppelin drummer John Bonham something became clear: Like most of humanity, that guy's day job isn't even what he's best at.
Buy Songs For The Deaf from Queens of the Stone Age at Amazon.
And please, for the love of Lemmy, if you've got an argument on what living person is a better drummer, make it, don't just shake your head in disgust.