Label: Ear Music 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
Supergroups, whether they think they are one or not, seem to be all over the place lately. The title of “Bestest Supergroup Evar”, however, seems to be between Black Country Communion and the Sammy Hagar led Chickenfoot, who have cheekily titled their second album “III”, because “It’s so good… we jumped right past having to make a second record”. Quite a boast, Mr Hagar, but at least it’s not a hollow one.
The band’s first album was pretty much universally applauded, mainly because it was a great, tight album with plenty of good songs on it. Sometimes that’s all you need, people, and Chickenfoot haven’t tried to fix what wasn’t broken. The heaviest influence on “”III” is unsurprisingly Hagar, mainly because he will always stamp his presence on anything he sings on, and this in turn throws in some healthy comparisons with Hagar era Van Halen. My personal favourite track, “Different Devil” is actually one of the more laid back tracks, with a chorus that wouldn’t been out of place on Hagar’s self titled 1987 classic album, or even VH’s “F.U.C.K”. There’s no clue as to who wrote what anywhere, which is pretty annoying. There’s a 3D picture of each band member, but personally I’d rather have had a proper booklet, like what they used to do, ya know?
It’s not surprise that there is absolutely no filler on the album, just like the first, and although the tracks have a similar feel they’re all refreshingly different, if you see what I mean. Despite the inclusion of guitar legend Joe Satriani, the album doesn’t feature a great deal of shredding, with the erstwhile guitar hero content do just do his job as part of the band, although he certainly flies when let off the lead. There’s even a bit of social commentary, with “Three & A Half Letters”, where Hagar reads from letters by pissed off Americans desperate for a job in trying times before letting rip on the chorus. It’s very effective, and shows another side to the band with the silly name.
The 3D packaging is a tired gimmick, the album name is a confusing gimmick, but Chickenfoot are still anything but a gimmick band. As a fan of Sammy Hagar for many years, I can confidently say that “III” stands up well to plenty of his classic releases, and is the perfect follow on from his Van Halen years. Funky, rocky, melodic and angry, this has something for everyone.