Red Hot Chili Peppers : By The Way

An unexpected treat all round

There are many reasons to loathe the Chili Peppers. The blame for nu metal can be laid squarely at the door of their cocky, jock-y, Cali-funky rap-rock. The success of their ‘Californication’ album has made them the band of choice for cloth-eared Philistines, account handlers and the like. That Flea’s always been an irritating little squirt, too.

But as nagging pop music goes, this is great. Kiedis starts off all college rock and wistful, in a queue for a gig (yeah, right). Then the rhythm section machine guns kick in behind him, and he’s away, flexing his pecs, on a taut stream-of-whatever. And we’re willing to put a fiver on this rumbly bassline once having belonged to [a]Fugazi[/a]. An unexpected treat all round.

Kitty Empire