I’ve been a fan of RHCP since Mother’s Milk, and loved the first four albums immensely. When Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik was released it was a revelation for me. It was the first true complete piece of work they had made. Every song was stellar, and it all flowed perfectly. However over the years, under guitar leadership from John Frusciante the style of the band moved further and further away from the real funk genius of the earlier albums.
By the time Frusciante had left for the second time, the popularity of the band was huge globally, they had massive selling albums, and sold out arenas, stadiums, and more. Yet whenever I went to see them their complete reliance on the radio-friendly hits of the previous years and ignorance of classic early era Peppers was criminal. The connection between the band members and in particular Flea and John Frusciante was a joy to behold and I could have watched them play, and in particular, ‘jam’ for hours.
I have heard a rumour that set lists and band direction was heavily influenced by Frusciante himself. Now I love the man’s guitar playing, and some of the songs that have been written during his RHCP era are phenomenal. However if some of the rumours of his influence and ignorance of the bands greater legacy is true then I am more than a little saddened. How I would have loved to have heard a song like ‘FIght Like A Brave’, ‘Blackeyed Blonde’, or even ‘Out in LA’ live.
For RHCP to continue on post-Fruciante probably wasnt an easy one; after all the Dave Navarro-era One Hot Minute wasn’t a massive success! Yet I am so pleased that they have. With new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer they have not disposed entirely of the sound they kept for the best part of 20 years with Frusciante, and yet the first single to be released since sounds so fresh, upbeat, and exciting.
Starting with signature bass from Flea and then forming a full sound with guitar that can only be described as long chords forming layers of sound, the song sneaks up behind you just before the chorus. Damned catchy, and not a forlorn, D and E-minor riff in sight. ‘Californication’ this is not.
As a taster for the album I’m With You which is released in August, this a fantastic appetiser!
KROQ Radio in the US had the exclusive first play, and you can hear the song via them on Soundcloud.