Probot (Southern Lord)

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Rock-and-roll fantasy camp isn't just for baby boomers who were never in bands in the first place. It can also be for ex-punks with closets full of metal albums, whose current mainstream-alternative bands aren't providing the pure chewing satisfaction they're after. Thus, Dave Grohl, weary of platinum sales and critical lube jobs, has begun taking on sideman duties for bands he worships (Queens of the Stone Age, Killing Joke). Probot is his latest step out from under the Foo Fighters umbrella -- a metal record, showcasing the lungs of his favorite thrash-era bellowers.

Grohl wrote most of the riffs, with 11 singers -- from Lemmy, Lee Dorrian, and Wino to Tom G. Warrior, Cronos, and King Diamond -- contributing lyrics. "Shake Your Blood," featuring Lemmy, and Wino's "The Emerald Law" are hard-rocking standouts. Probot will fortify Grohl's reputation as a drummer, too -- he plays ferociously, in a variety of styles. But it's that variety that's slightly problematic. Since each song on Probot is geared toward its vocalist, the album often sounds like a compilation, rather than a cohesive effort. If this disc is some folks' introduction to these steel-studded throats, that's glad tidings indeed.

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