By Mike Delano
The best one could hope for in a band fronted by Sammy Hagar is slick, radio-ready mediocrity, but this odd supergroup exists on another, deeper level of bad. Along with Joe Satriani on guitar, Michael Anthony on bass, and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums, Hagar hams it up through 11 painfully bland songs that aspire to be many things, all of them opportunistic. Mostly it’s just big hambone licks and cookie cutter song structures guaranteed to get them play on sports clip shows as they head to commercial. Sometimes they’ll sound like a bizarre 21st century reboot of Van Halen (“Soap on a Rope”); other times a band desperately looking for some country/rock crossover money by doing a Carrie Underwood-at-a-biker-bar impression (“Sexy Little Thing”). The shiny, spotless production sounds like a party with the lights on, and the only time the band doesn’t make bad decisions (lame pseudo-metal on “Get It Up,” awkward spoken word on “Avenida Revolución”) is when they go off into brief instrumental interplays that highlight their considerable individual talents. If we’re forced to endure a Chickenfoot II, how about just letting the guys jam live for 45 minutes while Sammy vamps intermittently, throwing out the tired song templates altogether?