|Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders:
The Coattail Riders Label: Thrive Records
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. What are you thinking, man? Have you not lived a pretty charmed life the past ten years? You were lucky enough to be pulled from the dire depths of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” tour and plopped behind the drum kit of what would become the next great rock band of the late ‘90s. (And it ain’t like Dave Grohl was short on drummers when he devised Foo Fighters, my friend). So just like that you get to put the wimpy bitter chick rock behind you and start shredding the skins on “This Is a Call” and “I’ll Stick Around”. Dave didn’t even ask you to write anything or expect you to sing a background vocal, he just wanted you to rip those fucking skins! And you did. No doubt this was your call, man.
Now on the heels of last year’s vast two-disc rockumentary In Your Honor, you holed yourself up with a couple fellow pot-smoking musicians (including Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction, among others) in a shitty L.A. apartment studio to lay down 12 tracks on a $2,000 Pro Tools rig. And this is somehow supposed to build upon or even sustain your career as The Chosen One among modern rock drummers?
Let’s see here…your bio says you’ve long suffered the curse of being a “frustrated songwriter stuck behind the drum kit”. Hmmm. “You’ve been looking for an enemy for way too long / You’ve been trying to keep the balance but you’re not that strong / You keep looking for a better way of getting by / Get up, I want to get down,” you snarl on the stutter-step punk rocker “Get Up I Want To Get Down”. I can certainly see what makes you a frustrated songwriter.
Maybe the worst part of this solo endeavor, Taylor, is that it doesn’t even hold the line as a rock record. I read a quote recently that said this record “would take us to a place where Cream, the Who, and Queen would be comfortable hanging out.” Sorry, but within an incongruent smattering of mediocre three-minute punk experiments (“Walking Away”), Foo Fighters outtakes (“Louise”), and far too many acoustic ballads for your own good (“End of the Line”), I fail to see anything close to what those mentors from the ‘70s left as a legacy.
You’re one hell of a drummer, Taylor. You have mad skills when it comes to holding a Foo Fighters song together, and time is certainly on your side. Nobody is going to hold a solo project here or there against you. Hell, it ain’t like you scrapped a Foo tour to finish this record. I’d just hate to see this become your focus when you’re living the proverbial Life of Riley as the drummer of one of the best bands going today. I’m only looking out for you, man.