When you flip through your music libraries, chances are that a good percentage of the artists in there are musicians who take themselves quite seriously, are robotic on stage and act like they just don’t know how to have fun.
But let’s face it, there are times when all you want to do is have a good time, indulge in a drink (or other substance – hey I’m not judging anyone here…) and listen to some good old rock n roll and at those times you need a band who can convey that feeling. In that case, Chickenfoot (featuring members of Van Halen and Red Hot Chili Peppers) have you covered with their sophomore release, Chickenfoot III, an album that brings the rock and keeps going like a drunken party through the night.
As soon as “Last Temptation” kicks off the proceedings, it’s hard not to imagine the first beer being cracked open and the party beginning as Joe Satriani delivers the first big meaty riff. Chad Smith’s funky drumming, Michael Anthony’s solid basslines and Sammy Hagar’s enthusiastic shout all hit with the solid impact that an opening song should provide, along with a Satriani solo and Hagar and Anthony’s vocal harmonies tying a bow around it all. Your foot should be tapping, your head nodding and hell, you should even be up dancing by now.
Not being ones to back the accelerator off, the momentum keeps on throughout Chickenfoot III. “Bigfoot” and “Up Next” flow with a quirky, funky, yet very catchy feel with hooky choruses and memorable riffs and rhythms, “Alright Alright” drives along with a pop sensibility with Satriani throwing down a Keith Richards-esque weaving riff bolstered by Hagar and Anthony’s upbeat and happy backing vocals. “Three and a Half Letters” takes a different lyrical approach where Hagar reads letters from his fans down on their luck, mixed with a hook-laden chorus where he screams “I need a job!”. “Different Devil” is a radio friendly tune that is quite infectious with one of Satriani’s most bluesiest solos.
But for all the octane fuelled rock on the album, towards the end the distortion gets switched off and the band goes into a different territory with tracks like “Come Closer” that slinks and flows along with a 70’s R&B vibe with Satriani mixing melodic guitar lines with Hagar’s soulful vocal approach. There’s also the the self explanatory bluesy stomp of “Dubai Blues” and the country-tinged acoustic ballad “Something Going Wrong” where you can feel the emotion and power in Hagar’s vocals. It’s quite an emotional track and closes the album off nicely.
With Chickenfoot III, the band have jumped the first album hurdle that many supergroups face and have shown they are able put out a follow up that stands up well on its own merits. They aren’t out to reinvent rock or replicate their other or former bands, they are just out to have a good time and deliver music to the masses. Let’s just hope they survive the supergroup curse and stick around for years to come.
1. Last Temptation
2. Alright, Alright
3. Different Devil
4. Up Next
5. Lighten Up
6. Come Closer
7. Three and a Half Letters
8. Dubai Blues
10. Something Going Wrong
11. No Change