Conceptually speaking, Chickenfoot, on tour with Davy Knowles, seems less like a band than an act of revenge — an attempt to outdo the current incarnation of Van Halen by two disgruntled VH vets (wailer Sammy Hagar and vocalist/bassist Michael Anthony), supplemented by a couple of ringers (axman Joe Satriani and Chili Peppers pounder Chad Smith). Fortunately, the act's self-titled debut album is more listenable than that, if hardly chock-full o' surprises. The lyrics, exemplified by the "Soap on a Rope" couplet "I wanna dance, I gotta sing/Rock, soul, blues, sing anything to ya, hey," press the usual buttons in the usual ways, and Hagar's rasping remains generic. But the mainstream format imposes much-needed discipline on Satriani, whose showy wanking can give masturbation a bad name, and Smith and Anthony make an appropriately heavy rhythm section. The results won't cause Eddie V. to eat a gun barrel, but neither will they make rock fans plug their ears.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.