One Track Mind: Peter Frampton, “Friendly Fire” from Hummingbird In A Box (2014)

In voice, it’s Peter Frampton. If that’s all there was to “Friendly Fire,” however, you’d expect him to call out at any moment for Bob Mayo to take his turn on the keys. But Hummingbird in a Box, like Frampton himself, is a very long away from Comes Alive.

Instead, this standout song from the new Frampton album is as topical as it is musically complex, a credit to the veteran classic rocker’s continued ambitions — and the spark that remains with Gordon Kennedy, who earlier helped Frampton collect a pair of Grammys for 2006’s terrific Fingerprints.

Together again on Hummingbird in a Box, issued via RED/Song, they unleash a devastatingly turbulent indictment on warmongers that — with everything that’s going on in the world today — couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

In keeping with that frank theme, one that searches but finds few answers for the awful way we treat one another, Frampton concludes things here with an absolutely searing turn on the guitar. He’s alive, alright. And sounding more engaged, more vibrant, perhaps then ever.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at