Sunday, October 2, 2011

You've seen all the heavy groups (Grace Slick at Woodstock)


Not an auspicious name is it. Why would someone think that's a great name for a rock band?

I picked up the CD about 5 times and put it back in the racks at the Virgin Megastore in the Dubai Mall before thinking - sod it - I like the individual members so why not.

Those members? Take two guys from Van Halen who are not named Van Halen. So that would be the bassist and lead singer, Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar. Take the drummer from Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chad Smith) and add the guitar genius that is Joe Satriani and it couldn't fail right?

Well it could.

How many 'supergroups' have bitten the dust in a cloud of too many cooks disappointment over the years? Blind Faith, UK, Them Crooked Vultures, The Firm, Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, Heaven and Hell, Dead Weather, and The Highwaymen are some that have disappointed me in the past.

I haven’t heard Super Heavy yet (Jagger’s super thing) but I don’t hold out high hopes.

On the plus side - super groups have also worked a number of times for me too – Cream, ELP, CSN&Y, Golden Smog, Traveling Wilburys, Journey and Zwan (yes really) have spun my wheels over the years.
And so to Chickenfoot. You can see why I wavered. Would this be a kind of luke warm version of Van Halen? I love Sammy Hagar's vocals but his subject matter and lyrics can be pretty juvenile at times.
The clincher was the name of the fifth member of the band – producer Andy Johns. His track record is beyond dispute.
And woe – does he make a difference. This is one super recorded effort. Clarity and power. A lost art because when I heard this CD for the first time each instrument’s power is right in your face without any clutter. I realized how much I miss this sound. It's amazing.
The verdict is out – forget the stoopid name and treat yourself to some old fashioned rawk!

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