Following on from the first half of our list of one album wonders (You can read the first part here!), we present to you the second part of our list of amazing bands who only released one record, featuring a number of super groups and some bands who helped define genres and scenes.
Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures (2009)
Whilst it’s not unusual for super groups to form and disband sporadically within a short space of time, Them Crooked Vultures took the expanded alternative music scene by storm at the turn of the decade due to it’s prolific line-up. Consisting of Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), the act metamorphized in 2009 without prior warning and fanfare. Following an inaugural live debut in Los Angeles, the collaboration released their self-titled debut in October 2009; a record that swiftly become of the most discussed releases of the year. Receiving essentially universal acclaim, the record was praised for rooting itself within the foundations of hard rock whilst exploring a massive range of instrumentation and the utilization of different techniques and textures. Following it’s release, Them Crooked Vultures went on to tour extensively in 2009 and 2010, performing alongside artists such as the Arctic Monkeys and ASIWYFA and occupying lofty festival slots at Reading & Leeds, Download, Lowlands, Coachella, Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park. Despite enjoying two barn storming years of success, the project entered a hiatus at the end of 2010 and very little has been heard from the collaboration since. Of course, with Homme and Grohl fronting two of the biggest bands on the planet and with Jones active full time with various projects, it’s very unlikely we’ll see this project up and active again any time soon.
No Devotion – Permanence (2015)
Forming in the spring of 2014, the origins of No Devotion are marred by what could be the most horrifying and widely publicized scandal the English music industry has ever witnessed. Following the arrest of the disgraced Lost Prophets frontman in late 2013, rumors quickly began circulating regarding the fate of the other Lost Prophets members and a supposed new act, one that was confirmed and revealed publicly in May 2014. Fronted by Geoff Rickly (Thursday), No Devotion premiered content in the following months prior to releasing their debut full length Permanence in August 2015. Looming, atmospheric and psychically dark, Permanence removed itself from the tropes of conventional alternative and focused on macabre post-punk and immersive, tangible new wave inspired elements. With it’s reserved background intensity, Permanence was, and still is a record that serves as a fantastic entry point to the sullen and melancholic stylings of what modern post-punk can to offer to those who have yet to experience it. Despite No Devotion seemingly having a true future whilst allowing the cheated members of Lost Prophets a justified second chance, the group went on hiatus following Rickly’s return to Thursday. Since then, members have gone onto form different projects and the future of this excellent act seems ambiguous at best.
The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
Remember the distant year of 2007 where MSN was considered the pinnacle of technological progress and everyone had some form of ambiguous and melodramatic song lyric as their name on the software? Well, it’s highly likely some of these lyrics where courtesy of the musical stylings of The Postal Service. Formed in 2001, the act served as a side project for the Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and the electronic artist Dntel. Released on Sub Pop Records, the album quickly swept the global indie scene and became a global sensation, with the record receiving gold certification in 2005 before going onto reach platinum, a feat that marked Sub Pop’s second ever platinum record with their first being Nirvana’s Bleach. With it’s warm atmosphere, approachable electronic soundscapes and gentle, romanticised demeanour, Give Up appealed to both the curious and genre connoisseurs, with many hailing it for it’s hidden depth, pop hooks and shifting indie soundscapes. Despite it’s success, a sequel was never received. Whilst there were plans for a sophomore record initially, both parties involved found that devoting time for a follow up was impossible due to commitments to their main projects. Despite this, The Postal Service reunited for a final short run of highly celebrated shows in 2013, giving this remarkable project a fitting end.
The Damned Things – Ironiclast (2010)
It seemed like the turn of the decade was a time for super group projects to appear before suddenly dispersing, with The Damned Things turning eyes and raising eyebrows worldwide due to it’s contrastive but all-star line-up. Consisting of members of Fall Out Boy, Anthrax, Volbeat and Every Time I Die, The Damned Things encapsulated all of the individual aspects which made each respectful band so successful in the first place. With the metallic textures and shredding of Anthrax and Volbeat, the punishing heaviness and punk inspired ideology of Every Time I Die and the pop hooks and arena sized choruses of Fall Out Boy, Ironiclast proved to be a record to appealed to everyone on the hard rock spectrum. Following an extensive worldwide tour, with the act performing at Download, Hellfest and Soundwave in 2011, the act went into a period of stagnation, with each member focusing on their own respective bands. Despite this, there has been rumors of a follow up record and subsequent tour for some time, with Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) stating that a 5 track EP was in the works in 2016 and with Scott Ian (Anthrax) claiming that a new record is on the horizon in just August of this year. Despite such claims, there has been no concrete confirmation of the act returning to activity nor has there been any formal announcements concerning new material.
The Elijah – I Loved, I Hated, I Destroyed, I Created (2012)
Hailing from the pleasant pastures of Shropshire, The Elijah established themselves during a golden period of melodic hardcore, with acts such as Dead Swans, More Than Life, Heights, Polar and endless others enjoying the spoils of a bustling national scene. However, rather than just sticking to the tried and tested conventions and blueprints, The Elijah took the premise of the genre to another level, with their 2012 debut I Loved… taking more cues from the world of highbrow post-metal than standard hardcore. Despondent, pensive and retrospective, the record focused on presenting bleak and emotional landscapes dotted with hardcore belligerence and frank human emotion. Whilst the record presented the genre in an entirely fresh light, The Elijah were crowned as one of the leaders of the aforementioned scene and celebrated the release of their record with a legendary show at Camden’s Underworld where they were joined by a string quartet. Despite being the subject of endless praise and a devoted following, The Elijah came to a seemingly sudden end in 2013, where the act carried out a farewell tour supporting Being As An Ocean, an act that various members ultimately joined following the demise of The Elijah.