Chickenfoot – the Review

Give Foot a Chance
Give Foot a Chance

I wanna roll all up in it
Get my sticky fingers
It’s stretched out

– “Sexy Little Thing”
When I first heard about the supergroup consisting of Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith and Joe Satriani, I have to admit I was more than a little excited.
The blackballed half of Van Halen teaming with the drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and guitar virtuoso Satriani is an interesting line up for an old rocker like me.
So, I dutifully stopped at Best Buy on my way home from work the other day and picked up the CD.  Yeah, I bought a CD.
Here’s your track listing:
  1. Avenida Revolucion
  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 in the Past
The record starts off strong.  Avenida Revolucion is the most political track on the record.  Its a commentary on US/Mexico relations especially along the border.
One of the first things you notice is how strong the rhythm section is.  Chad Smith is way more than a punk funk drummer.  He bashes his kit in a way that would make any Sunset Strip band proud.  Michael Anthony, always Van Halen’s secret weapon, holds down the bottom.
Lyrically, the songs don’t cover a whole lot of new ground.  They sound like they’d be right at home on OU812.  That’s good or bad depending on your position on Hagar era Van Halen.
What is interesting is hearing the Van Halen sound with Satriani’s guitar tone.  Satriani was always the wild card in this mix.  Whether or not he could fit into a group was a question.  The question has been answered.  Satriani reigns in his noodling tendencies to really give the band its sound.
Hagar is Hagar.  Love him or hate him, you have to admire him.  He’s been doing this for 40 years, from Montrose, through Van Halen and on to the Wabos, Hagar just keeps rolling along.
My favorite track on the album is “My Kinda Girl.”  If there were any semblance of rock radio left, this thing would be a HUGE hit.  “Turnin’ Left” sounds perfect for use in a whole series of NASCAR promos.
After a couple of listens the record grew on me.  It has that classic melodic rock feel that was so huge in the 80s.  Chickenfoot doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but they certainly take it out for a quality drive.
On an interesting aside, the CD cover is some kind of photographic negative.  When I picked it off the shelf, it was all black with the band’s logo on the front and the track numbers on the back.  When I got to the register, I could see Chad Smith on the bottom right.  By the time I got to the car, the sun had done its work and the entire band was on the front and the track listing had filled out on the back.  Pretty slick.
Will Chickenfoot be bigger than Zeppelin as Hagar predicted?  Probably not.  Will they be big?  Sure.
And they’re gonna sell a truckload of merch with that logo.

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