I’ve listened to the new album by Chickenfoot a few times, and I’ve definitely got my groove into it. The super band is comprised of guitar god, Joe Satriani, and Van Halen legend, Sammy Hagar. Rounding out the lineup is Michael Anthony, joining Hagar from their Van Halen stint, and Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer extraordinaire. For once, a super band that’s actually a super band – but could they put together a rocking album worthy of their amazing status? As Neil Patrick Harris would optimistically say, “It’s going to be LEGENDARY!” But, we’ll see.
The physical album itself is a digipak that looks plain black at first, but when you run your fingers over the heat-responsive surface, it reveals so much more underneath, even on the back, which appears devoid of a track listing – at first.
Now for the breakdown of the track listing:
Track 1: Avenida Revolution
I wasn’t really digging this song when I first heard it. It’s a very mellow rock song that didn’t capture the melody that I’ve always known Satch for. Even the chorus itself wasn’t something I could find myself humming along to. Still, I had hope for the rest of the album. 3 out of 5.
Track 2: Soap On A Rope
Now THIS is what I’m talking about! This song just bleeds Satch all over from the opening riff. Hagar lends his very unique voice to the song, and you finally see what Satch and Hagar felt when they first jammed together. 5 out of 5.
Track 3: Sexy Little Thing
To be fair, Satch had his turn to shine in the previous track, but this one is all about Hagar and Anthony. It’s very Van Halen sounding, even with Satch’s signature sound wailing away. It’s hard not to hum along to both the chorus and the melodic lick. 5 out of 5.
Track 4: Oh Yeah
The first single from the album, and for damn good reason too. This is going to be a crowd chanter at their concerts, as you scream, “Oh Yeah”, at the top of your lungs. Incidentally, I’ve seen both Van Halen and Satch in concert, and to throw both of them together would BLOW. MY. MIND. 5 out of 5.
Track 5: Runnin’ Out
This song has that tinge of Van Halen, and it’s obviously thanks to the tag team of Hagar and Anthony. You can clearly hear Anthony’s bass groove that has unmistakenably provided that layer of sound that Eddie Van Halen shredded to. The chorus has yet another Van Halen-ish chant! 4 out of 5.
Track 6: Get It Up
Arriba arriba! Satch takes back the reins and gives us back what he does best at – rock out while maintaining his unimitable sense of melody. Check out the third part of the solo, Satch holds himself back in his humble way until he unleashes the massive string of notes. 5 out of 5.
Track 7: Down The Drain
Satch appears to be doing a very good impression of Eddie in the opening riff, because I could almost swear that this mid-tempo song could have easily passed for a Van Halen track. Up until Satch starts shredding. 4 out of 5.
Track 8: My Kinda Girl
This one is so catchy! You’ll be singing along to this one as well! Don’t think, just listen. And sing out loud. 5 out of 5.
Track 9: Learning To Fall
A slower number that doesn’t quite remind me of any of Satch’s awesome rock ballads, unfortunately. It’s still a pretty solid song, however. 4 out of 5.
Track 10: Turnin’ Left
Satch doesn’t hold back during this one. This song is way more like a Satch song with Van Halen lending a hand. Signature Satch sound. 4 out of 5.
Track 11: Future Is The Past
A track that starts out slow and then immediately shifts into a funk groove that plays to Smith’s usual drumming ability and would make Tom Morello applaud. A good end to a good album. 4 out of 5.
Overall, I’d have to give the album a solid 4 out of 5. Definitely an album that any rock, Van Halen, or Satch enthusiast must own in their collection. It isn’t on a par with any of Satch’s or Van Halen’s previous albums, and fans will continue to compare this album with both because of the mix of sounds that are so prominently familiar and yet different. This outing reminds me of when Audioslave first got together; their first album was great but not spectacular. After an abysmal sophomore release, the third album became one of my most favorite rock albums of all time. As a result, I’m expecting big things from Chickenfoot in the future, and I’ll be watching these guys closely. This may actually be rock history in the making.