Barrage of B-sides starts with "Strange Man" and "Long Progression"
In preparation for the end times of the music industry, the Red Hot Chili Peppers seem to be releasing as much as they can as quickly as possible. In April, they gave away a free EP of live songs. The following month, they put out the covers EP of songs by their fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees this year. And Flea finally put out his long-promised solo album of "trippy freakout" music.
Now, the group is starting to make good on their pledge to release a "storm of seven-inches coming out over the next six months" — "storm" meaning 18 songs in total — as frontman Anthony Kiedis announced in May. The first such single — "Strange Man" b/w "Long Progression" — is set to come out officially on August 14, but the music has arrived online early via Antiquiet and you can hear both songs below.
The A-side, "Strange Man," is the sort of laid-back, quasi-funky almost-ballad the Chili Peppers have mastered from the early 2000s onward. Kiedis sings self-aware lyrics like, "All of my love and most of my fears been coming on strong for most of my years and often end up in a song." About halfway through it picks up with a sort of guitar homage to Nile Rodgers' scratchy, funky playing, rounding out an otherwise down-tempo tune.
The flipside, "Long Progression," is one drummer Chad Smith said almost made the band's latest album, I'm With You. He described it to Billboard as a "kind of a flowing, kind of mid-tempo funk," and he's right, though it's more upbeat than "Strange Man," benefitting from some lively percussion. This one features a watery, almost synth-like guitar solo by Josh Klinghoffer before jumping back into the chorus. Smith has said the song was replaced by "Goodbye Hooray" on the album, but "Long Progression" is such a catchy song it's easy to imagine it fitting in.
The next single, "Magpies" b/w "Victorian Machinery," is set to come out September 11; the following one, "Never Is a Long Time" b/w "Love of Your Life," is set for October 2; and the final five singles — all with TBD titles — will surface in November, December and "early 2013."