WHO ARE THEY? The on-again, off-again (but mostly just off) side project led by longtime Foo Fighters drummer (and former Alanis Morissette sideman) Taylor Hawkins, accompanied by his latest crop of solo bandmates and a massive slate of VIPs including fellow Foos Dave Grohl and Pat Smear, Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, Yes singer Jon Davison, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Eagles’ Joe Walsh and even country-popster LeAnn Rimes. Clearly, Hawkins has a lot of friends. Or a lot of money.
WHAT IS THIS? Just the third Coattail Riders album in 13 years — see what I mean by on-again, off-again? — and, much like its predecessors, a giddy sprint through the many highlights of ’70s-rock fanboy Hawkins’ record collection.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Cheap Trick reimagining the first three Queen albums. Or vice versa. Either way, it’s basically 120 minutes of arena-sized guitar riffs, glammy vocals, pancake-stack harmonies, proggy arrangements and wiesenheimer vocals crammed into 40 minutes of music.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Hot Tub Time Machine.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While wearing aviator shades, hoisting a drink and lounging in a Jacuzzi festooned with cash, if the cover art is anything to go by.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Classic, kaleidoscopic, meticulous, cathartic, grand, goofy, operatic, audacious, ambitious, irreverent.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Hawkins’ freewheeling, everything AND the kitchen-sink approach makes it hard to wrap your head around some of these songs — but on the flip side, it also keeps you from getting bored of them too quickly. Bonus points for his Jeff Beck-based cover of The Yardbirds’ Shapes of Things.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘When you said it was a trip though his record collection, I didn’t think you meant his ENTIRE record collection.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? It’s more novelty than necessity, but it definitely grows on you. Kind of like a fungus in a hot tub.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A ’70S CLICHE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A guy roller skating down the street wearing pink lame gym shorts, a spangled headband and nothing else.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Based on the title, it would seem you have no choice.