Supergroups have a tendency to be a little like those McDonalds employees you see with the coveted ‘Five Stars’ on their badges, you think they are going to be something special but they still sneeze on your fries.
Looking to redress the balance, Chickenfoot return to build on the success of their debut offering and unleash Chickenfoot III. Titled in true Spinal Tap style, Sammy Hagar explains the numerical anomaly; ‘It’s so good, it’s like we jumped right past having to make a second record’. A confidence it has to be said is not entirely without merit as Chickenfoot III is good. Really good.
How much you will enjoy this album depends on your views on stadium sized classic rock, for this is (as you would expect from its contributors) a classic rock record. A manly slab of riff laden, testosterone driven rock, the kind of tunes that will put hairs on your chest.
Proving this point somewhat is the opening ‘Last Temptation’, Joe Satriani puts his stamp on the intro before it gives way to the bruising syncopated rhythms of the verse and towering vocals of the chorus. A brute force attention grabber.
‘Alright Alright’ is a Stones meets Rod Stewart swagger fest, culminating in some serious shredding from Satriani and much like the foot stomping ‘Big Foot’ which sees Hagar in full Zeppelin mode, they are huge slabs of granite riffage and gravel pit vocals, making both hard to resist.
That is not to say that this is an album without subtlety however, ‘Come Closer’ allows the more mellow side of the band to surface whilst ‘Three And A Half Letters’ is a surprising emotive piece. Based around Hagar reading out first-hand accounts from people who have struggled to find work, make ends meet or cope with the horrors experienced during their service in the armed forces, it maintains a defiant rather than depressing tone expressed through the primal scream cry of the chorus.
On first listen this would almost appear to be the Hagar/Satriani show but on each repeat you realise that whilst perhaps not flashy, Chad Smith and Michael Anthony are the air tight glue holding this collection together, flawless performances from two musical heavyweights. Far from being an albatross around their necks, these are big tunes, from big stars that can carry the mantle of ‘supergroup’ with ease.
Find out more by visiting the Chickenfoot website HERE.