At long last, alt-rock titans Red Hot Chili Peppers are back with their first single in five years, along with news of their 11th studio album. But be warned: This is not the RHCP you were expecting. Yes, there are signature funky bass lines from Flea and druggy warbling from Anthony Kiedis, but you know what this new song does not have? A single mention of California, a.k.a. The Golden State, a.k.a. the subject of approximately 47 RHCP songs (give or take).
The five-minute “Dark Necessities” finds the band returning to funk-rock territory, trading in shredding guitar for more piano, and throwing in some surprising strings on the chorus. It’s a fine song. Really. But if you’re SoCal natives Red Hot Chili Peppers, and you’re making your long-awaited return (right before summertime, no less!), there better be a damn Cali-themed track for us to cruise PCH to. Get it together, Kiedis and Co.
For now, I’m willing to give RHCP the benefit of the doubt and assume that one of the 13 tracks from their upcoming album, The Getaway, will give us that coveted Cali shoutout. We’ll find out when The Getaway drops June 17. Until then, we’ll always have “Californication” to fall back on.