|Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats - 'Meet The Meatbats' (earMUSIC)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Monday, 21 September 2009 19:19|
Considering that the last time I listened to an instrumental album was probably when I was giving Goblin's score for Dario Argento's European cut of Dawn Of The Dead a sombre spin, you'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe I wasn't the ideal person to review over an hour's worth of material from Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith's new instrumental band, Bombastic Meatbats......
.....and you'd be right. I spent all of the late 80's avoiding that Tony Macalpine and 'Surfing With The Alien' nonsense - the latter being the...um...masterpiece of Smith's other Chili downtime band Chickenfoot's Joe Satriani - and very happy to do so was I. But every other reviewer, when faced with me mentioning the "I" word to them, disappeared like the proverbial rat up a shit pipe. So, I did the decent thing and took an instrumental one for the team.
When playing with the legendary Glenn Hughes, Smith, guitarist Jeff Kollman and keyboardist Ed Roth would "warm up with some impromptu Jeff Beck-esque grooves" that tickled them so much that they decided to record a whole album of similar material. Adding bassist Kevin Chown, who has played with The Nuge meaning no background check was necessary, they have recorded an album that many a cynic would deem self indulgent......and they would be right. The whole package from 'wacky' cover art to 'wacky' song titles - 'Oh, I Spilled My Beer!' - smacks of being an in-joke released as a cash-in, thereby pissing on the graves of a million talented bands who never got the chance to turn their hard work into actual product.
The music on offer here is actually wonderfully played, and excellently produced, but it all sounds like soundtrack material, background music. Every now and then, whilst listening, I turn around half expecting my bullet-ridden police dog buddy to return to my side, rising Lazarus-like from seemingly certain death at the hands of generic Central Casting villains-for-hire. Or my car to turn into an alleyway and drive through a pile of cardboard boxes. Or the black anti-hero to escape The Man by jumping over one of those chain-link gates that only good guys can get over. The fact that the album is playing yet I am thinking of movie clichés sadly says it all. Background music, baby.....
As funky, soulful instrumental albums go, this is right up there with the best.....I guess. I can find little fault in the actual music, playing, production....it's just that I can find little reason to ever play this disc again. And who will buy this? Red Hot Chili Peppers completists, music fans with too much money who like to keep oddities in their rock curiosity boxes, and maybe those debauched rock 'n' rollers who kick out the jams at drum clinics with their ironed tour shirts tucked into their ironed jeans.
Wake me up when you get to the end of the review.....zzzzzzzzzzz