July 13, 2010 - Le Coq Napoleon/RCA
Now that Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has branched out with his Coattail Riders, it’s overdue that longtime Foos guitarist Chris Shiflett releases a solo album. Shiflett, of course, is no stranger to projects outside of the holy Grohl, finding time to front his own group, Jackson United, as well as his role in professional punk cover band, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. And, oh yeah, he spent his formative years in a little band called No Use For A Name.
But his Dead Peasants project is something completely different; combining the Americana alt-rock of the Replacements and Soul Asylum with the alt-country twang of bands like Wilco and the Old 97’s. And, uncanny as it is, Shiflett’s voice sounds almost identical to Elvis Costello, another obvious influence, on most of these tracks.
But, make no mistake, Shiflett’s solo debut isn’t a shameless ode to his many musical influences; there’s enough ingenuity running through this self-titled album to keep bringing listeners back. Whether it’s the lurching riff powering through the tasty steel guitar on “God Damn,” or the impressive, soulful patience of “An Athiest’s Prayer” (a duet with Heather Waters), there’s a whole lot to like about this album. Judging by Shiflett’s Dead Peasants, maybe we need to stop giving Dave Grohl all the credit for how good the Foo Fighters are.