It is refreshing to see a classic hard rock act get the A-list treatment in terms of promotion. I seem to find signs of Chickenfoot everywhere – even on the (gasp) radio! For those of you who have recently been rescued from a desert island, Chickenfoot is rock’s latest supergroup comprised of one half Van Hagar (Sammy Hagar and Mike Anthony), guitar wizard Joe Satriani, and Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith.
The pros: The chemistry between these guys is fantastic and their individual talents gel well to produce a modern rock feel – the record sounds great. Sammy’s vocals are still incredible after all these years of tequila-drenched wailing and to say that Satriani is amazing with the guitar is a vast understatement. The packing is pretty cool, too, with the heat-activated digipak whose artwork shows up after warming up.
The cons (you know there have to be significant cons when one of the pros commends the packaging!): The biggest drawback is that the songs are mediocre at best, lacking the meaty hooks and sing-a-long choruses that make arena rock songs memorable. There isn’t enough of the trademark Hagar and Anthony harmony vocals, which may have been avoided as a conscious effort not to sound too much like Van Hagar. Finally, Sammy seems to be on a ‘man on a mission’ with his lyrics to prove that older does not mean wiser (with rare exception).
Like the band’s ridiculous name, the Chickenfoot CD is attention getting, but leaves you scratching your head and asking, “What? This is the best they could do?” For me, Chickenfoot is one of this year’s biggest musical disappointments – it is a clucking bore! There is an abundance of talent in this coop spinning out of control – if it can be centered to revolve around strong melodious hooks, they will truly earn the title “superGROUP”.
iPOD-worthy: 5, 8, 9