Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

 

 

 

 
July 2009
 
 
 
T rack listing:

1.
Avenida Revolution
2.
Soap On A Rope
3.
Sexy Little Thing
4.
Oh Yeah
5.
Runnin' Out
6.
Get It Up
7.
Down The Drain
8.
My Kinda Girl
9.
Learning To Fall
10.
Turnin' Left
11.
Future Is The Past

Label: Fontana
Release Date:
June 9, 2009

Alright, let's talk about expectation.

When I got wind of this project, I really felt like something divine was about to take place. You see, I have been anxious for guitar genius Joe Satriani to do a band project for a number of years, and there is no better host than Sammy Hagar when you want to throw a rock 'n' roll party. So, when I heard these two were pairing up in a band called Chickenfoot, I just about cried. And I'd like to make something clear here, I think Chickenfoot is a killer name. The name alone sent a message that this was going to be a fun party record with four guys that were just having a good time. The record instantly became a rock 'n' roll piñata that I couldn't wait to take a swing at, just to see what awaited me inside. What I found wasn't exactly what I expected, though.

I guess what I expected to hear was a Sammy Hagar solo record in the same vein as VOA or Three Lock Box, except Joe Satriani would be lending his amazing guitar chops this time. So, I guess when I heard tracks like "Runnin' Out," "Learning To Fall," and "Future Is The Past," I was a little disappointed. These are songs that sound like they were left off of one of the later Van Halen records, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but just not what I was hoping to hear. The rest of the record does depart from the "Van Hagar" sound, but that's not necessarily a good thing either. Songs like "Get It Up" and "Avenida Revolution" set more of a dark and somber tone, like something you might get from Alice In Chains. And, with the latter song kicking off this disc, you can imagine the expression I was wearing when I pressed play. This was hardly the party I was hoping to attend.

The album does get rocking and definitely does assume a playful mood at various points. Tracks like "My Kinda Girl" and "Sexy Little Thing" rock like those Hagar tunes that I was wishing for, although they are a bit simple. But this record really kicks ass when its backbone stiffens up and it gets funky. Songs like "Soap On A Rope," "Oh Yeah," and "Down The Drain" rock hard with a tight and fastidious guttural attitude. "Oh Yeah" is the first single, as well it should be. It's a fun rocker that will have you tapping a foot and pumping a fist as you chant along. "Down The Drain" is more of the sleek and sly, down and dirty rocker. A little dark sounding, but it has some great moments. There is another track called "Turnin' Left" that has a big Satriani groove, but I'm just not fond of the overabundance of gang vocals throughout the song. I personally think it flattens out the song and gives it a monotone feel. The song I consistently find myself going back to is "Soap On A Rope," though. This is a wicked track that finds Satriani laying down a riff that has a gigantic groove and a ton of muscle. We also find Satch adding some scratching effects and other interesting fills that keep this one fun. All of this is wrapped around a guitar solo that throws a tip of the cap toward guitarist Tom Morello and his unique and innovative Rage Against The Machine sound. Even Sammy throws in a straight-from-the-gut, Zach de la Rocha-type "Uh!" for good measure.

While I was obviously a little disappointed by the whole of this record, I would say at the same time, that it is a good solid outing. I realize that I am not the only fan of these guys, and everyone is expecting and hoping to hear something different. So, even though the band didn't paint the town red (pun intended) as consistently as I might've been hoping for, they did splash enough color around that it should satisfy just about every fan.


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