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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
Released: 27th September 2011
Chickenfoot return with their second album, cheekily titled III. Don't you just love the humour from our fellow musician friends? Surely the best musician gag is this one. A drum and a cymbal both roll down and fall of a cliff... B'doom, tsssh!
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In fact Sammy Hagar could've easily called it HSAS II. Firstly he had the supergroup he formed with Journey's Neil Schon in 1983 along with Kenny Aaronson and Michael Shrieve and now with Chickenfoot he has musicians with the same initials. Please step forward Joe Satriani, Mike Anthony and Chad Smith.
I'm sure if you are reading this you won't need me to tell you about the pedigree of these guys?
The debut, released in 2009, didn't exactly set the world alight but for those who were lucky enough to witness the band live at Shepherd's Bush Empire. London that year know that Chickenfoot have a whole lot more to offer and are a band to be taken seriously. This is more than just a busman's holiday.
Chickenfoot III is a far superior album to the debut. This album flows with a high level of consistency with the band sounding like they are having fun in the studio. With the majority of the tracks written by Hagar and Satriani the two have combined their talents to make an album full of songs that will sound great on American Rock Radio.
I would go as far as saying this is the best album featuring Sammy Hagar since Van Halen's '5150'.
Those looking for some instrumental guitar wizardry from Satriani would be advised to stick to his solo albums as this album is what great musicians are meant to do and that is to make great, listenable, hummable, singalongable music.
Every song has it's touch of panache. 'Last Temptation', 'Alright Alright', 'Up Next', 'Lighten Up', 'Big Foot' and 'Dubai Blues' are full on belters that wouldn't be out of place on those latter day Van Halen albums which have that trademark backing vocal from Mike Anthony.
'Come Closer' has a relaxing lounge summer breeze vibe going on and is good enough for a single release, as is 'Different Devil'. The hazy 'Something Going Wrong' is something going right but the most controversial song on the album is 'Three And A Half Letters' where Hagar reads out letters from his fellow patriotic soldiers returning from overseas wars to find there is no work for them when they return to civilian life.
A highly enjoyable album for those who like their rock to rock in the classic way. I look foward to their third album, 'Chickenfoot V'.