CHICKENFOOT – Chickenfoot

CHICKENFOOT - Chickenfoot
  • 9.5/10
    CHICKENFOOT - Chickenfoot - 9.5/10


Redline Entertainment
Release date: June 9, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There are supergroups (SG) and then there are supergroups. Which one of these two does this newly formed group really belong to? First of all, going by the name alone, one would be hesitant in labeling Chickenfoot as a SG, very hesitant to say the least. It’s safe to say that as far as SG’s are concerned, they are a dime a dozen… they have come and gone by the wayside.

Perhaps focusing on the musicians who make up Chickenfoot should be the next item looked into. Let’s see… Joe Satriani (guitar phenom); Sammy Hagar & Michael Anthony (half of Van Halen); and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer extraordinaire) – WOW! Looking at things a bit more closely, perhaps “SG” might be understating the fact this time around. It would be futile at best to elaborate further on why this group of musicians who named their group Chickenfoot would fall into the SG category unless you have been living in a cave for that last twenty or thirty some-odd years.

Now that it has been established that Chickenfoot is as legitimate a SG as there ever was one, there is only one thing left to do in order to complete the exercise. The last and probably most important facet of the entire evaluation process is the sound of the band. Can they and do they pull it off? Do they have what it takes and sound good? In this particular instance, it’s an overwhelmingly and definite “Hell Yeah.” To say this band sounds good is another understatement if there ever was one. Just wait until you’ve had the pleasure of listening to Chickenfoot’s debut album that just happens to be titled Chickenfoot.

Sometimes an opener or a closer to an album is just as important if not more so than the tracks that come between. The opener to the album, “Avenida Revolution” gets your curiosity peaking in that you are curious to see what will follow. The song does just enough so that the remaining songs don’t fall short of any expectations you might have or form from listening to it. In this case it’s a tightly played tune between the four guys with a little extra bass pronunciation allowed to shine through in the closing moments. It’s interesting in itself that something as minute as that adds a little spice. Michael’s bass is tuned such that it’s “on the money” as the expression goes. It must be noted that the rhythm section of this band is as solid and tight as ever and that Sammy hasn’t sounded this good as memory can attest to. Even Joe is subdued and laid-back in a sense allowing him to be more relaxed which is a completely different style for him. He is usually in front shredding it up otherwise (because of the stigma along with other pressures he places upon himself in having a solo career). Here, he is allowed to be another cog in the wheel so to speak. In this case he does his thing at just the right moment and then gets out of it so that he doesn’t overshadow the rest of the band or have the main focus revolve around him.

“Soap on a Rope” follows and is a tune that not only allows Sammy to have some fun but really lets him air out his lungs at the same time. The bass parts are deep and bluesy and even Joe can break free from the traditional styles he is accustomed to and allowed to let his creative juices flow during this one. His playing is on fire near the end and some of his finest work ever (outside of his solo career) shines through on this track. “Sexy Little Thing” is the type of song that once you hear it, you will be playing it in your head for the rest of the day. It has a continuous, tight beat with an equally Rockin’ bass line that somehow stands out during much of the song… but in a good way. “Oh Yeah” is probably one of the more recognizable tracks at this early point in time. This is probably due to the fact that the boys decided to debut it on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien back on June 5th. “Runnin’ Out” doesn’t let up and even adds a short Satriani solo (must check it out) at the 2:12 mark that lasts 35 seconds. Joe plays with a lot of reverb/echo throughout the entire song except for his solo part and a few other areas where his playing is a bit more affluent. All the guys have some backup vocal chores on this one and they sound exceptional as a whole. Then there’s something about Chad’s drumming and cymbal use on this song that, even while it’s not the most demanding by a drummer’s standpoint, it gets you caught up in it and has you following his playing more so than on other tracks, it really sounds so awesome.

After these five initial songs, the album seems to move in another direction. The remaining songs seem to get harder and have a better sound. The next track in line is “Get it Up” and takes on a different approach from the first moment a note is struck. It is harder in nature than previous tunes for certain, and while there is a certain amount of order to it (through it’s arrangement), the feel to this tune is something along the lines of a free flow/jam session/studio practice that is the embodiment of the entire track. There is a strange and eerie vibe through most of it but that is due to Joe’s playing. “Down the Drain” is up next and is probably the highlight of the entire album without any question – don’t let the first fifteen seconds throw you however – it’s very, very, deceiving. This tune has a Hard Rock, tough as nails attitude to it and is undoubtedly the hardest tune on the entire album. Michael’s constant deep, pounding bass beat doesn’t go away and tends to be the driving force behind this delicious track. Chad’s percussion work throughout is so perfect, not only in sound or style, but more so in the effect it plays on the overall scheme of things. Sammy’s vocals are just enough to change things up a bit when needed. Then you have Joe playing what seems like something a seasoned and well versed guitarist would do when told to let go and not hold back during an audition. Just love the way the song ends as well. If forced to pick a fav, then this would be it. “My Kinda Girl” (with a backwards K) is probably the catchiest tune on the album by far. It just has one of those great sounding beats to it that you can’t help but fall in love with the tune. This could be a top three tune depending on one’s taste. Once you hear this song you will know why it is described in such a fashion.

“Learning to Fall” is the first mellow tune on the album. It is done with such feeling and taste however that being a much slower and mellower track does not take away from it one bit. There is an incredibly cool sounding drum roll that comes out of nowhere and catches you off guard for a second or two that’s a nice treat. “Turnin’ Left” is the first song that has Sammy matched with others on vocals and not just background stuff. Satch’s playing and individual solos match up well with the rest of what is going on and has such a good guitar sound on this one. He is really flying on this track and it might be considered some of his best guitar work on the entire album. If you’re into screaming vocalists then you’ll like this track since Sammy sounds ferocious as hell. The closing tune is “Future in the Past” and it has Sammy singing “saving the best for last.” Hopefully he wasn’t referring to this song being that, even subliminally it would be wrong. Don’t take it the wrong way – the song is good but a bit slow in getting things going or coming alive for a better choice of words, but once it does get it in gear it really starts to Rock.

That’s it in a nutshell-almost fifty-eight minutes of ass-kickin’ Rock/Hard Rock (except for maybe the last tune). Fans of Van Halen (during the Sammy period) and fans of Satriani (Satch as he is referred to by his followers) are going to be the most curious for the most part and want to be the first ones in acquiring this new album. Fans of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who appreciate Chad’s fine drumming will be next in line. Then will come those who enjoy music and are fans in general. This group of listeners will probably be mostly interested in seeing (actually hearing) how the band sounds and how big they will get. The last group of interested parties will be made up of individuals who are fans of supergroups and will want to see what the hype is all about. All in all, there will be great interest in this debut album for numerous reasons outlined above and throughout this review. Whether or not there will be a follow-up to this new release will certainly depend on contingencies stipulated by the band. The likelihood of these being met look very good at this point in time, albeit quite early, but by the interest shown so far, odds are in its favor.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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