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Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders

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Album Review

The first solo album by Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters, is to the Foo Fighters what Dave Grohl's first Foo Fighters album was to Nirvana — an album by a drummer turned songwriter that doesn't wander far off the reservation, staying within the boundaries of his main gig but offering a distinctively, charmingly friendly spin on his day job. There's no mistaking that Hawkins is part of the Foo Fighters — he relies on the propulsive, hooky hard rock that's Grohl's stock in trade, yet he never sounds exactly like Grohl himself. He has a lighter touch, and his eponymous debut with his backing band, the Coattail Riders, has a very Californian feel. It's bright and sunny, feeling a little relaxed even when it's rocking hard, and he touches on a few different strands of L.A. rock, from the funk-punk of "Get Up I Want to Get Down" (a party-hearty spin on Jane's Addiction, which is only appropriate since Jane's relapse bassist Chris Chaney is a Coattail Rider) to the country-rock undercurrents on "Wasted Energy." Even when he digs into angst, as on the mild dirge "Pitiful," Hawkins doesn't feel tortured, and that's the nice thing about this album: it sounds as if he's having fun. Of course, side projects are notorious for being fun for the musicians and not for the listeners, but this album doesn't fall into that trap, and not just because Taylor Hawkins glides by on surfer-boy charm; it's because he's a strong songwriter. Perhaps he doesn't stretch the alt-rock form, but he is a sturdy tunesmith with a knack for memorable melodies and hooks. That combined with the album's easy-rolling feel makes Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders a surprisingly enjoyable debut, something that's good enough to hope that this isn't just a one-off project, but rather a regular job for this drummer turned frontman.

Customer Reviews


Wow! Taylor steps out from the from behind the shadow of the Foo Fighters with an incredible solo album. Who knew this guy could do it all? He sings, plays drums and guitar... an amazing musician. If you like prog/classic/stoner rock, then you'll love this album. You can definitely hear Taylor's Stewart Copeland (The Police), Roger Taylor (Queen), Bill Bruford (Yes), and Phil Collins influences in the drumming. But it's more than just energetic and colorful drumming, the vocal harmonies and intricate guitars (courtesy of Gannin and Chris Chaney) make for a very musical album. There is also a wide stylistic variety with mellow acoustic tracks like "Running in Place" and "End of the Line", and intensely progressive tracks like "Walking Away" and "Get Up...". Then there is the folky "Wasted Energy" and the poppy "Better You Than Me". Sit back, put on your headphones, and enjoy the ride... this is my new favorite album!!!

Taylor & friends do it right!

My first exposure to Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders was at a little bar in Scottsdale AZ called Martini Ranch. I saw these guys with less than 200 other peeps from about 20 feet away, a far cry from the arena show the Foos played here back in October. Let me tell you, Taylor Hawkins is a fantastic and well rounded musician in his own right, and when you add Chris Cheney & Gannin to the mix, you've just got an awesome combination of seasoned veterans (for those of you who don't know, Cheney was the bass player for Jane's Addiction). I was so unexpectedly pleased with these guys and their live performance that I have been eagerly anticipating the release of this album ever since that tiny show in a little bar in a small city in suburban America. This, ladies & gentlemen, is rock & roll. This isn't cheese, and Taylor hasn't ruined the Foo Fighters or anyone else, as other reviewers would have you believe. If you like the Foo Fighters, if you like Queens of the Stone Age, if you like classic, unadulterated, edgy, grungy, gritty rock music, then this album is for you. Every track is great, and once you start this thing up, you'll have your iPod on repeat for the rest of the day. From "Louise" to "Running in Place" to "You Drive Me Insane," this album is 100% honest, spirited, heartfelt rock. You can only be disappointed if you have a hearing problem, 'cause you'll never know what you're missing.


this album is really great. i was thinking that it would be kind of foo fightersish -- which it sort of was... but still different. running in place is definately the best song in my oppinion because you never would have guessed that the song's start and finish was still the same song. oh and im gunna marry taylor hawkins.

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders
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Customer Ratings