Five years since topping charts, winning critical praise and scoring Grammy’s with their last studio effort (2006’s double album Stadium Arcadium), with one major member shift in the interim (guitarist John Frusciante is out–again, replaced by his pal, and one-time Warpaint member, Josh Klinghoffer), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers manage to sound like they’ve never left on excellent new single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”.
The first taste of the punk-funk-fusing kings’ upcoming tenth (!!) album I’m With You, “Maggie” supplies all the long-beloved RHCP signifiers, including Flea’s funky bass boogie input, another dose of Anthony Kiedis’ delectably-phrased semi-rapped gabbledygook lyrics (“Lipstick junkie be funky all he want”; “Tic-toc, I want to rock you like the 80s/ Cock-blocking isn’t allowed”) centered on another stand-out SoCal babe, and a golden-plated hook that instantly urges group sing-alongs, to ensure no problem with getting them back to the top of the modern and mainstream rock radio playlists.
And while the Peppers (and returning producer Rick Rubin) basically constructing something that could have been comfortably placed on any one of their past few albums may read a bit dull on paper, the five-year gap between new product makes the familiar formula bulge with excitement in execution, especially with bits of cowbell (never a bad thing) and the classic rock squawks, noodlings and fuzzy riffs supplied by Klinghoffer helping color the frame with slight traces of uniquity.
A very appreciated comeback by the rock icons.
Stream the track (courtesy of KROQ) below; I’m With You arrives August 26th.