Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats (album)

Meet The Meatbats Album

Curiosity was aroused in music.co.uk HQ this week, as I received a CD featuring a veritable powerhouse of rock stars. Supreme drummer Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers has joined forces with keyboard player Ed Roth, bass player Kevin Chown (Motor City), and guitarist Jeff Kollman to form The Bombastic Meatbats.

At first glance, their CD artwork and song titles hint at familiar power/rock territory. When I slipped the CD into the player, I was expecting something along the lines of what I’ve heard from The Chilli Peppers in the past. What I got was something quite different. This band is the first purely instrumental act I’ve reviewed, which takes you on a trip back in time to the realms of old school funk, soul, chilled out rock, and punk.

Traditionally, tracks average 3-4 minutes, but these guys have done things a little differently and gone for about 5 minutes on each of their 11 tracks. The end result puts you in mind of an extended jam session, which actually gives a hint to the bands accidental beginnings during past tour warm-ups. Something that’s chilled and ambient does take a little getting used to, but I guess that’s all part of the fun!

I try to be honest in my reviews, and I have found this review task a bit of a challenge. This is partly because I feel that all the tracks are on a level with each other, and partly because the differences between them were quite subtle to my virgin ears. So what to comment on? Well I’d suggest listening out for the smooth soul/rock in ‘Pig Feet’, the piano arrangements on ‘Into The Floyd’, and the calming drum beat/blues influence on ‘The Battle For Ventura Blvd’. There are tracks like ‘Night Sweats’ that are more what I’d expect from these guys, but for the most part its toned down/understated/rhythmic rock.

This album has been described in PR copy as ‘instrumental music with a soul and sense of humour’. I’d say that description was pretty accurate. I was quite happy to listen to it, and pick out the quirky little deviations from their arrangements, but my attention started to waver towards the end. Verdict: A bit too much all at once, and not enough variety, but I commend the excellent musicianship, and the connection between the band.

Album released via earMusic on October 12th 2009. For more information visit www.bombasticmeatbats.com

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