Well stone me – you just get over one great super band of more mature musicians turning up with a fantastic album (I refer to Heaven and Hell and Better the Devil You Know) when along comes another one!
Chickenfoot are a true supergroup in the old sense of the word. Sammy Hagar takes up vocal duties, Sammy shouldn’t look as God damn healthy and good looking as he does – I remember listening to Montrose albums of his before I started shaving daily!! Mike Anthony hits the bass having been sadly ousted from his position stage right in VanHalen – so 50% of what I always personally consider the best Van Halen line up, Balance and OU812 I think were VH’s high points for me. Chad Smith – the sticks man from RHCP gets a chance to let rip as a very straight ahead rock drummer – not that he isn’t great in RHCP but this is a slightly different style and he excels. Finally Joe Satriani the great guitar genius holds down the guitar duties and frankly is if anything sounding better in a band/vocals context than ever before.
So to the album. Well if you like the aforementioned Hagar fronted Van Halen period then you’ll love this album. It is just great quality rock music. This isn’t metal or thrash just brilliantly executed tuneful rock. Mr Satriani does fly off in some stratospheric directions on a few solos and fills but not to the detriment of the songs and often he is pretty restrained. Mike Anthony is frankly a class bass player, solid, holds the beat with the drums excellently and executes tasteful little fills here and there that catch your ear from time to time. Chad Smith as I say to me is a revelation as a drummer in this context, he really is a brilliant drummer, again beat held solidly but lots of embellishment to add to the interest but rarely over dominating at all. Actually as a rhythm unit Anthony and Smith are up there with the very very best of all time on this evidence.
Over the top Mr Hagar has one of those voices… he is up there with Freddie, Paul Rogers and Plant as one of my all time favourite singers. He has such power and tone in his voice.
Any self respecting rock fan should own this album. Oh yes and all these buggers are older than yours truly, Mr Hagar qualifies for a bloody bus pass for God’s sake! Well it shows you what mature musicians can do… produce absolutely brilliant music.
Oh if you are old school like yours truly here and still love to buy the CD so you can smell it, hold it, fondle it… sorry … tear off the cellophane etc. The cover is extra special – I was lost why it didn’t have the song titles on the black back cover just 1 – 11 indicating 11 tracks. Funny I thought. Then I read inside that it’s covered in a special heat sensitive material. So clasp the cover in your hot mitts for a moment and viola the track listing appears and pictures of our four heroes on the front cover… very clever.