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Rock - Released November 8, 2019 | RCA Records Label

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It took Taylor Hawkins nearly a decade to record his third album with the Coattail Riders but, to be fair, his main gig as the drummer of the Foo Fighters kept him busy in the nine years separating 2010's Red Light Fever from 2019's Get the Money. To his credit, Hawkins essentially picks up where he left off with Red Light Fever, creating a retro-rock fantasia out of his favorite parts from his favorite old LPs. Queen remains his main touchstone: "Don't Look at Me That Way" is puffed up with layers of harmonies, "C U in Hell" slyly salutes Queen's tendency to write mini-suites, and Roger Taylor himself stops by to lend vocals to an album-closing "Shapes of Things," the Yardbirds psych-standard that's performed in the style of Jeff Beck's 1968 cover. Taylor isn't the only superstar guest, nor is Queen the only band consciously evoked. Joe Walsh plays guitar and Chrissie Hynde sings on "Get the Money," a mock-reggae number that takes a detour into spacy Pink Floyd territory, Nancy Wilson and LeAnn Rimes both stop by the studio, as do Duff McKagan, Perry Farrell, and Steve Jones, not to mention Dave Grohl. Of this cast of characters, Grohl's signature is the most evident -- "You're No Good at Life No More" could easily slide onto a Foo Fighters album -- but the fun of Get the Money is how Hawkins spins through a number of different sounds and styles from the classic rock era. The elements are familiar, but Hawkins assembles fuzz guitars, glam beats, New Wave synths, and operatic harmonies with flair and wit, turning Get the Money into a giddy journey to the past that's remarkably devoid of nostalgia. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 20, 2010 | RCA Records Label

Perhaps Taylor Hawkins is fated to live in Dave Grohl’s shadow, but that isn’t an entirely terrible place to be. Certainly on Red Light Fever, his second album with the Coat Tail Riders, he winds up sounding not too dissimilar from not just the Foo Fighters, but often adapts elements of Grohl’s side projects with Josh Homme, leaning particularly hard on the grinding guitar growl that characterizes both Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Hawkins may recall Grohl and Homme -- and he often deliberately conjures memories of Freddie Mercury, as well -- but he’s certainly his own man, and a Californian man at that, possessing a sunny disposition that shines through even when things get a bit heavy. Usually, that sunniness amounts to bright pop hooks and handclaps, turning this into hard rock with a surprisingly light touch. It’s poppier in sound and feel than anything the Foos -- or any other post alt-rock guitar group for that matter -- have done in quite some time, and it’s endearingly infectious, all due to Hawkins’ laid-back yet gregarious spirit. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop/Rock - Released April 2, 2010 | RCA Records Label

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Alternatif et Indé - Released January 1, 2006 | Thrive Records - IDJ

The first solo album by Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters, is to the Foo Fighters what Dave Grohl's first Foo Fighters album was to Nirvana -- an album by a drummer turned songwriter that doesn't wander far off the reservation, staying within the boundaries of his main gig but offering a distinctively, charmingly friendly spin on his day job. There's no mistaking that Hawkins is part of the Foo Fighters -- he relies on the propulsive, hooky hard rock that's Grohl's stock in trade, yet he never sounds exactly like Grohl himself. He has a lighter touch, and his eponymous debut with his backing band, the Coattail Riders, has a very Californian feel. It's bright and sunny, feeling a little relaxed even when it's rocking hard, and he touches on a few different strands of L.A. rock, from the funk-punk of "Get Up I Want to Get Down" (a party-hearty spin on Jane's Addiction, which is only appropriate since Jane's relapse bassist Chris Chaney is a Coattail Rider) to the country-rock undercurrents on "Wasted Energy." Even when he digs into angst, as on the mild dirge "Pitiful," Hawkins doesn't feel tortured, and that's the nice thing about this album: it sounds as if he's having fun. Of course, side projects are notorious for being fun for the musicians and not for the listeners, but this album doesn't fall into that trap, and not just because Taylor Hawkins glides by on surfer-boy charm; it's because he's a strong songwriter. Perhaps he doesn't stretch the alt-rock form, but he is a sturdy tunesmith with a knack for memorable melodies and hooks. That combined with the album's easy-rolling feel makes Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders a surprisingly enjoyable debut, something that's good enough to hope that this isn't just a one-off project, but rather a regular job for this drummer turned frontman. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine