Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders – Get the Money (2019)

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Being the drummer in one of the worlds biggest rock bands clearly isn’t enough for Taylor Hawkins, and nor should it be – it would be wrong of him to keep a voice, so finely tuned (I avoided “Taylor-made”) for fronting a rock band, to himself.

This is the third solo outing from Hawkins, and second under the Coattail Riders moniker.  2010’s Red Light Fever was fantastic, so here we are nine years later, with Get the Money…

Hawkins has roped in a who’s who of musical guests for this record, including Foos band mate, Dave Grohl, Duff McKagan, Perry Farrell, Christie Hynde, Nancy Wilson, Roger Taylor, and LeAnn Rimes of all people.  Opening with Crossed the Line, the record fires up in fine form, and while it’s been nine years since Red Light Fever, this track could easily slip straight into that record.

A little theatrical, a little self deprecating, but a whole lot of rock is what’s in store.  Don’t Look At Me sees Hawkins trading vocals with Nancy Wilson – her voice still nothing short of immaculate, and his own voice, gravelly and an excellent contrast.

You’re No Good At Life No More is a partial ballad, featuring Dave Grohl.  During the choruses though, ballad territory is well and truly left behind, as the song becomes a bombastic up beat pop infused rocker.  The entire piece is wearing Hawkins love of Queen on it’s leave – and that will come up again, probably multiple times through the course of this record.

Perry Farrells unmistakable voice turns up on I Really Blew It.  A fun track, quirky and just a little weird, but definitely fun.  Queen of the Clowns on the other hand, is a much more grounded affair.  Hawkins vocals are sensational – and if he wasn’t the drummer in one of the worlds biggest band, he could have a great career off his own merits.

The title track is a very 70’s inspired, almost psychedelic piece.  Chrissie Hyndes vocals offer a velvety smooth layer to this track, and the whole thing comes together so well, that it’s an undeniable highlight.

C U In Hell builds slowly and swirls towards bold choruses, while Middle Child is one of the most guitar driven tracks on offer.  On the other hand, Kiss the Ring has an electro feel to begin with.  It eventually becomes a solid rock track, with some great lead guitar flourishes, but also features some of Hawkins best vocals.

Closing track, Shapes of Things, features a retro vibe, but then again, so has the majority of this album.  The Queen influence shines through again on those backing vocal harmonies, and in the way that this seems to become a different song at its mid point.  Excellent and energetic closer.

This is definitely an interesting listen, covering a lot of bases, and holding your attention for its entire 49 minute duration.  Hopefully it’s not another nine years before the Coattail Riders appear again!

8/10

Shayne McGowan.

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