Chickenfoot - Deluxe Version
Yeah we know it's been out a while but we thought we'd wait for the deluxe version before reviewing it. This version (the white one) comes with a DVD...but more of that later. Chickenfoot is a supergroup in every sense : Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith on drums, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, and the ex-Van Halen pairing of Michael Anthony on bass and Sammy Hagar on vocals. Our love of this band was well documented in our review of their only gig in the UK so far (click here ). This album is going to be regarded as a bona fide classic in years to come..(it already is here in the Rockgig parish).. yeah there are a tiny number of cliches..and you can see the ballad coming from a mile away (but WHAT a ballad!!) but it's all forgiveable.. this album combines fantastic musicianship, classic rock and yet sounds totally relevant in the noughties. Like a good wine (or yours truly) it get's better with age... the more you listen to it, the more you spot. Satriani has at last found a vehicle to bring his unquestionable talent to an even bigger audience. We all know that he can play a guitar to within an inch of it's life, but who the hell would think that he would sit this comfortably in a band - it's simply perfect. The vast majority of the songs were written by Satriani and Hagar (who's voice is still as good as ever). Down the Drain was recorded in one take, from a jam session. When a band is THAT cohesive and on the beat, then they can't go wrong. Standout tracks? Well there are not any filler tracks if that's what you're thinking, nor Satriani experimental jams to pad out the album - each track is there on it's own merits. A collection of 12 (yes 12 - Bitten by the Wolf is on this version of the CD), hook laden rock songs that feature those Van Halen vocal harmonies that we missed when Sam and Mike left the band. These songs are also easily the best thing Hagar has written since Van Halen (and even when he was in it). It's inevitable that the Van Halen comparison is going to crop up - if the VH and Chickenfoot were playing in the same town on the same night - I'd go see the 'Foot. One more thing, credit must be given to producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones etc) who has given this album a really crystal clear production - the vocals are in your face, the drums snap, the guitar sounds perfect and the bass just booms.
The DVD that comes with the Deluxe Version features every track on the album, being performed live, in the studio or at rehersal. It's clear from this just how well these guys get along. From the sepia toned "12 days of chickenfoot" introductions to each track to the numerous clips of them on and off stage, rehersing and recording one thing is always present - someone is always laughing or has a beaming smile on their face - these guys are having fun. No corporate bullshit, no Bon-Jovi style employee system, just some mates having a laugh and making a bloody great album.
(ps: if anyone from Kiss is reading this (evening Mr Stanley) the 'Foot have a logo'd up Smart Car .. you might want to add that to your merchandise list)