Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins drums up laid-back California rock
Taylor Hawkins, known for drumming the Foo Fighters to fame, collaborated with pals Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and Gannin to informally record what became an impressive 11-song, self-titled debut album (plus one dreamy hidden track). Presumably riding on the coattails of Hawkins’ Foo fame, the trio’s debut holds its own.
For the most part the songs are interesting, with fairly sophisticated arrangements. Opener “Louise” kicks off with a Latin flavored bongo beat and a catchy chorus. “End of the Line” is lyrically the best cut on the album: “I keep walking over the bridges that burn/ you keep talking but you don’t say a word.”
Reflecting the manner in which the record was created, the songs feel laid-back and unforced. “Running Away” is a nice acoustic number with a few too many abrupt tempo changes—like parts of different songs were patchworked together…and the chorus doesn’t do much in the way of cohesiveness. The vocals and music balance each other out nicely throughout the album, and it’s not hard to hear nuances of Hawkins’ main influences—drummers like Roger Taylor, Phil Collins, and Stewart Copeland—from whom Hawkins’ borrows liberally and unashamedly.
Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders began as an outlet for Hawkins’ stifled and frustrated inner songwriter, and morphed into a debut record via an organic recording process. Hawkins’ transition from merely manning the kit for the Foo Fighters to fronting his own band was, at the very least, successful.