Everyone has been waiting with baited breath for the release of the latest RHCP’s album… the first since the second departure of John Frusciante.
This album was always going to be a new direction for the Chili’s with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer filling in Johns shoes… Long time drummer Chad Smith said in Rolling Stone Magazine “this is a new band. Same name, but it’s a new band.”
This album seems to be to be less about the new guitarist and more about the two members of the band that hold the whole package together… the Rhythm section – Flea and Chad Smith… Anthony Kiedis just does his thing over top, while the new kid Josh makes some really tasty decisions to add to the depth of the sound.
The album starts with “Monarchy of Roses” a Helter skelter of drums and distorted guitar and fuzzy vocals… before breaking into a disillusioned disco sound a bitter sweet symphony of fun and darkness… I can’t help but think of Sound Garden.
The very next song is almost a totally different creature… a clean 80’s infused bass starts the “Factory of Faith” in fact this track can’t get anymore 80’s (it even adds some great cutting wah pedal towards the end of the song)
It’s odd listening to this album… it’s like listening to an album that sounds a bit like the Chili Peppers – there are parts that are classic Chili Peppers and then there is a dark turn that we haven’t seen in the Peppers before… almost more focused… before diving into a musical exploration of sound. A great example of this is the disco dance infused “Look Around”.
It’s refreshing to hear the band trying new sounds with a real Spanish flavour offered with “Did I let you know” complete with trumpet solo… a real foot tapper… but once again… they fool you by busting straight into a song that you would hear as the chase music on Playstation game like ‘Driver’ or ‘Grand theft Auto’.
I’m not sure all of the songs work on this album… and the band certainly are trying to push in areas that they maybe haven’t explored before… but every song has a touch of that Hot Chili catchy-ness that makes you want to tap your foot… or just stand and dribble in awe.
If you are a big RHCP fan there is enough on this album to keep you happy… if you’re new to the band… you can get your groove on to parts of this album…
This is a new look/new sound Chili Peppers… you may want to taste before you buy because this is new ground… and it’s not all familiar.
Either way you have to feel sorry for Josh Klinghoffer he is either going to be hassled for changing the sound of the RHCP’s or hassled for not being John… lots of weight for young shoulders.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Their First Album Without John Frusciante (rollingstone.com)