It’s not often that a new band releases its first album with as much hype and as big an advertising budget as Chickenfoot. Then again, not all bands have the former lead singer and the former bassist of Van Halen, the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s drummer, and a guitar legend. So you can understand why expectations are so high for this supergroup. And I review their debut album after the jump.
When you think of a band comprised of Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, and Joe Satriani, you think of a fairly mainstream performance. However, this album has been released by the independent record label, earMUSIC. The star power has put this at the top of the indy album charts and in the top five of the rock charts and Billboard Hot 200.
The lead single, Oh Yeah, peaked at 27th on the Billboard mainstream rock tracks chart (having been on the chart for 7 weeks) and is featured in all Chickenfoot commercials. This doesn’t sound like your increasingly typical radio mindless drivel rock. This sounds like the product of guys who are used to the concert circuit. The crowd can get into it and sing along though it just doesn’t seem like it would work as well in the car. It does seem almost purpose-written for the Rock Band crowd and would likely make a great song in a video game.
The album is a series of very well constructed songs that are all very good in their own right. I’m not a big fan of Hagar but he does fit in nicely on the album. Everything here is very neat, very clean, very tidy. It’s just that nothing really jumps out at you as being very special or sounding like a mega hit. It seems like when you start playing an instrument. You start playing nice, safe songs before you branch out into your own musical style and show a bit of flair. This album from Chickenfoot, while still good, plays it safe. When they start to reach into their own bag of musical tricks, then they’ll take off.
With the stars that came together to form Chickenfoot, you set a high bar for their albums. Maybe I set the bar a little too high for these guys on just their first effort. Then again, they’re just one smash hit single away from joining the big leagues of rock and roll.
Best Tracks: Oh Yeah, Soap on a Rope, Sexy Little Thing