The long awaited return of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is here as the Californians share a first taste of their upcoming eleventh studio album – “The Getaway”. On their last outing “I’m With You”, released in 2011, the band welcomed their new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who had the somewhat challenging task of filling the shoes of one John Frusciante. Klinghoffer had been a backup guitarist while Frusciante was still in the band but as of 2009, when the band came back from a hiatus, Klinghoffer took over as lead guitarist when Frusciante once again left the band due to musical indifferences.
“I’m With You” came across as a new era for the Chili’s. They had matured and were adapting to the new sounds Klinghoffer was bringing to the table. Five years later, it sounds like the band have made the full transition into this new chapter and with the new album coming out in June, the Chili’s have got the ball rolling with the new single ‘Dark Necessities’, which was released on May 5th 2016.
Quietly creeping in with a clean guitar sweeping across an underlying bass line, the song builds up with the accompaniment of drums and piano parts which very quickly come to abrupt end – at which point the songs drops in to its first verse. In typical Chili Peppers fashion, the first thing we hear is bassist Flea slapping and popping his instrument to a funky groove provided from Chad Smith behind the kit. If one thing is clear already it is that this rhythm section has still got it. After almost thirty years of jamming and writing songs together, these two know each other’s playing style inside out.
Jazzy piano chords are positioned on top of the groove with some funk guitar from Klinghoffer popping in and out which sets the laid back mood for the song so singer Anthony Kiedis can effortlessly and poetically present his relaxed vocals to the mix. Across these funky verses and the catchy chorus in which Kiedis sings “Dark necessities are part of my design”, there is that sense of reflection which is to be expected from a band that has been a household name for thirty years. They still have that funk that has always been present in their music but it seems to have been toned down into a less chaotic and more mature attitude.
Coming to an end with some lush open sounding guitar licks with backing vocals to give it that extra euphoric touch, the song concludes much like it began – calm and relaxed. It seems as though having Klinghoffer in the band has given them a fresh burst of energy and inspiration, which is sure to take their music in new directions. This isn’t wildly different to anything they have done before but there are nuances there that suggest this track is only the tip of the iceberg and the creativity that can be found between these musicians is ever evolving.
‘The Getaway’ will be released on June 17th 2016 and will be supported by various tour dates including headline slots at summer festivals such as Reading and Leeds, UK and Rock Werchter, Belgium.
Written by Ben Hughes