Fireworks

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Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats - 'Meet The Meatbats' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e3/86/4b/157_ChadSmithMeatbats_1267113131.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 25, 2010    
 
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Instrumental debut from Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer.

 

Now, this instrumental album was something I wasn’t expecting. Cards on the table, I’m not a fan of Chad’s work with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the albums he’s recorded with Glenn Hughes are not among my favourites, in fact Chickenfoot earlier this year is the first thing he’s been involved with that I actually like a lot. So who’s in the Bombastic Meatbats then? Well, there’s a big Glenn Hughes connection here with guitarist Jeff Kollman (Cosmosquad, Sign Of 4, Mogg/Way, Edwin Dare) having played with Glenn at the same time as Smith and keyboard player Ed Roth (Gamma, Seb Bach, Jerry Cantrell). The band is completed by bassist Kevin Chown, whose list of clients runs the gamut from Ted Nugent and Tony MacAlpine to George Benson and even The Drifters.

What could they possibly sound like together? Funk-rock? Progressive metal? No, rather surprisingly this band are purveyors of rather good jazz funk instrumentals with Jeff Beck-like guitar melodies (his ‘Blow By Blow’/’Wired’ period) from Kollman and some rather tasty keyboards from Roth. The playing is impeccable but I guess this album will appeal to a very narrow demographic as the style doesn’t change much from track to track, but the great groove laid down by Smith and Chown is infectious enough on it’s own, and with the subtle guitar and keyboard melodies on songs like ‘Need Strange’, Lola’ and the slowly building ‘Into The Floyd’, they prove to be a very talented combo indeed.

To be honest a couple of the tracks are a bit samey and tedious and they reek of style over substance, but ‘Status Spectrum’ - the live ten minute homage to their influences, and the superb ‘Death Match’, complete with an inspired change of pace in the middle, will certainly take up permanent space on my iPod for years to come. As I said, not what I was expecting but probably better.

Phil Ashcroft

 

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