Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins pays homage to his hard-rock heroes
A baby gurgles over a clattering drum roll before nine minutes of dramatic metal riffage and hulking prog licks, and so begins the first album from The Birds of Satan, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ side project. This ambitious Queens Of The Stone Age flavoured opener, ‘The Ballad Of The Birds Of Satan’, is a strutting slice of Californian metal that’s strangely misrepresentative of the rest of the record. The six tracks that follow are much easier to digest, sharing Foos’ commercial guitar leanings while gleefully paying homage to Hawkins’ heroes Dio, Van Halen and Queen. Dave Grohl and Pat Smear both make cameos on the record, but high profile guests aren’t the album’s high point. That accolade goes to the gentle soft rock triumph of ‘Raspberries’, the shred-happy ‘Pieces of the Puzzle’ and the piledriving, ’70s-era Aerosmith ballad ‘Too Far Gone To See’.