The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Chickenfoot - self titled

 

Hagar, Satriani & Co come up with a winner

 

Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony – veterans of years playing together in the “Van Hagar” years of Van Halen, as well as recent tours with Hagar’s band the Waboritos; drummer Chad Smith – currently on hiatus from Red Hot Chilli Peppers; and guitar whiz-kid Joe Satriani formed this ensemble as a “one-off” project after casual jams at Hagar’s Cabo Wabo venue, and I’ll be damned if it hasn’t developed a life of it’s own very quickly.

 

Satriani shines throughout – sure he can play “stunt guitar” as well as his former pupil Steve Vai, but it’s in meshing his virtuoso flourishes so well into the BAND framework here that is his truest victory. He shows restraint and the guitar – whilst flash as hell – complement the songs rather than the songs being a means to a shredding end.

 

Make no mistake – Chickefoot sound like a BAND, and a damn fine one at that. Smith shows off his rock chops, with little sign of the funk and soul playing he displays in his day job and side projects with the likes of Glenn Hughes.

 

It’s obvious from the CD, as well as live reviews and YouTube appearances, that these disgracefully talented and experienced veterans of rock are not only immensely proud of this work, but also that they’re having the time of their life playing these songs.

 

It’s not ALL about the fun, of course – while the music is upbeat and four to the floor throughout, some of the more thoughtful lyrics tackle profound subjects such as Mexican drug cartels (Avenida Revolution), praise for a single mother (My Kind of Girl) and environmental messages (Running Out).

 

Anthony is as rock solid as at any time throughout his tenure with Van Halen, and Hagar sings his heart out like a man 20 years younger, rather than one turning 63 this year! Casual yet tight; louche but intelligent; rocking and catchy, virtuoso but down to earth – Chickenfoot may just be the album of the year.


Shane