The four members of Chickenfoot were mates in different bands. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony were buddies from Van Halen. Sammy Hagar also was mates with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and the drummer from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith. These four would no doubt have jammed with each other at various points at Cabo Wabo, which was a Sammy Hagar initiative in the first place. All four were successful and respected musicians in their own right. Why not do an album together? So, the legendary Chickenfoot was born as a side project for these four legends and although it comes across as a Sammy Hagar idea, the four were ready to make a solid debut album after making some tunes.
Let’s give it a whirl and see if it lives up to expectations.
We begin with Avenida Revolucion with its awesome guitar intro and riffs galore. It sounds loud, rocking, and menacing. Although admittedly Sammy Hagar’s voice has seen better days, he still can still rock out very well. It’s a good way to kick off a rock album of its sort in the 21st century. The rest of the group is on top form too. There is no doubt that this is an exciting and captivating listen, which it is. There is a great sense of rhythm and melody in this song.
The ballsy sounding Soap On A Rope sounds very incredible, even to this day. There are brilliant multitracked riffs, lyrics about having everything in the world that one can desire, and a great groove to this song. It’s great music, for new and old fans of rock music. There are many different musical sections and well-structured parts here as well. Joe Satriani’s guitar solos are amazing here too. It is an amazing effort from four greats, a must-listen.
Sexy Little Thing starts off with some interesting guitar/sitar parts and is a song about a certain sort of woman one would lust after. It is a loud, riff-heavy, and catchy tune. Not bad for a supergroup band who probably had their fair share of great times in the music scene prior to this album, in different ways. It goes quiet at one point, then bang! Back into the music. Another consistently good effort to hear here.
Oh Yeah is another highlight on this album. It starts off with a great guitar riff, then goes into an awesome song which is very catchy. It does sound a little like Van Halen mark II here, but still, it is irresistibly catchy for a song of its kind. Not bad for a side project, this rocks hard. The midsection progresses into something completely different in the second half of the song, showing that these guys had an educated look at music, rather than just making garage rock. Great stuff. Classic rock fans will dig this one.
Next up is Runnin’ Out which begins with some funk-like guitar riffs, before launching into another catchy rock groove. It’s less heavy than the other songs, but hey, it’s very cool all the same. The lyrics are rather repetitive, but the music is awesome all the same. A wah-wah guitar solo comes along to blow your mind. Epic. In 2020, this song makes perfect sense.
The tune after is Get It Up. This has a similar feel to the first song on the album, but it is a decent groove nonetheless. Being rather unusual in its melodies makes it just a little bit different and better than what most critics would think of this sort of music. It’s intelligently done and energetic, a great way to make music. The blistering guitar work by Joe Satriani, once again, is amazing. The vocal harmonies are interesting, too.
Down The Drain starts off with some psychedelic guitar parts, before going into a sludgy rock groove. It’s really heavy sounding, with a great appeal to traditional rock/metal fans in particular with this sort of tune. It may refer to Sammy Hagar’s time in Van Halen (although that is merely a guess) but still is a good listen regardless. It heavily refers to the Van Halen song Up For Breakfast but is a retrospective look at the past. Joe Satriani’s chops are awesome here in amongst all the mayhem. The drumming towards the end is fantastic, as is the outro.
My Kinda Girl starts softly with an arpeggio guitar part, before kicking into another solid rock groove. It talks about an ideal relationship with a lady of choice. It’s a great ode to love and sex. Interesting to hear, this album is like an album reminiscent of AC/DC’s Back In Black album in its basic musicality. Still, a very original and consistent listen. The soloing sounds very unusual from Joe Satriani. Headbanging sort of stuff, this album is.
The next tune inserts some melancholy into the mix, Learning To Fall. It’s a more introspective heavy rock/metal sort of piece. It’s deep and introspective listening for those who like this sort of thing. It doesn’t go against the grain of the album though, it just sounds really good. It’s about being in love but sounds very inspired. Good stuff. A great effort by Chickenfoot.
After that, we begin Turnin’ Left. It’s a more upbeat and rhythmic sort of piece for those who need this sort of thing. It’s energetic and pulsating, and Sammy Hagar’s singing is really excellent here. Not bad for a guy who was much older than any pop star of the time, he is really a fantastic singer in terms of delivery. The guitar work by Joe Satriani is very good, as per usual. An awesome listen. The multitude of sections really shows the intelligence of this music as well. The ending is borderline thrash metal, bonus.
Future In The Past is the last track here, beginning with acoustic guitars and harmonics. It’s a great chilled vibe here and gives Sammy Hagar a decent tune to be reflective. Perhaps this is the case with music. It then gives into a very heavy metal sort of groove, which is quirky and interesting listening. This is surprisingly good a listen, although this was never a single. The multitude of musicality in this song will make you smile, it is really very good. A great way to finish off a great listen. The climax of emotion and musicality at the end is awesome.
If you dug Sammy Hagar era Van Halen and other similar styles of hard rock and heavy metal, this is a no-brainer for you to enjoy. It’s better than what other music critics would make of this sort of music, as was the case with a lot of Sammy Hagar stuff. It’s loud, raw, rocking, and emotional listening. Check this out if you can.