Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Dark Necessities”

In the five years since the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their last album, 2011’s I’m With You, bass wizard Flea has joined Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace band — the sort of thing that might lead you to believe that the Chili Peppers would come back sounding like something other than the Chili Peppers. They reinforced that idea when they brought in Danger Mouse to produce their new album The Getaway. Meanwhile, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Flea’s Atoms For Peace bandmate, is mixing it. It’s the first time in 27 years that someone other than Rick Rubin is producing a Chili Peppers record. That sounds like progress!

Well, the first single is out now, and: Nope! They still sound like the Chili Peppers! “Dark Necessities” is a fascinating mess of a song. It’s a big, searching power ballad with morse-code guitar pings, Seinfeld-theme bass, and string arrangements that seem like they’ve teleported in from a Radiohead song. Our own Chris DeVille says that it’s “like Van Halen’s ‘Right Now’ with slap bass,” and that’s pretty much exactly right. You can listen to it below.

The Getaway is out 6/17 on Warner Bros.