ALBUM REVIEW: Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants “Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants”

Record Label: Le Coq Napoleon/RCA
Release Date: 12.07.2010

Chris Shiflett is without doubt best known as lead guitarist of the rock supergroup Foo Fighters, a role he attained at the turn of last decade following the group’s loss of two lead guitarists in quick succession; Pat Smear and Franz Stahl. However, Shiflett has remained active outside of the Foos in pursuit of his two other loves; punk (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes) and country (Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants).

Whilst Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have released five studio albums to date, this eponymous effort marks the debut effort from Shiflett and his cohorts (606 house engineer John Lousteau (drums, in addition to engineering) and Derek Silverman (keyboards)). Citing their inspiration as a fusion of rock, rockabilly and country, the album remains tame and tepid throughout.

A thoroughly radio friendly effort, Shiflett verges into the much explored college rock terrain, most notably on the Semisonic-esque “Get Along”. Whilst Shiflett’s new project may be playing it safe, his efforts never cross into elevator music. Though not necessarily instantly memorable, the troupe have ensured that there is enough of a singability factor, try resisting humming to “Burning Lights”, that the album is perfect driving material.

“Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants” is not a low-rent Foo Fighters, Shiflett has successfully avoided the trap many side-projects fall wholeheartedly into. The country-tinged sound he explores suits his heavily accented tones, but as yet gold has not been struck. A competent effort but one that lights no fireworks.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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