For band that has lost their lead guitarist for the second time in its lifespan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first album in five years, “I’m With You,” could start no other way: in chaos. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be taking it so well this time around. The lead track, “Monarchy of Roses,” opens with muddy guitar work and thundering drums — like what the apocalypse would probably sound like.

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis grumbles behind vocal distortion and then before you know it, we’re back to the usual RHCP circa “Stadium Arcadium” like nothing happened. The nostalgia lasts a solid 30 seconds through the chorus before we go back to the hectic verses, as if the song can’t decide what it wants to sound like.

The lead track ends without leaving much of an impression — something not indicative of an album well-put-together. It’s not unreasonable to expect the album to hook me in from the get-go, and “I’m With You” does it for the wrong reasons. The second track makes it painfully obvious that not only is RHCP’s world-famous bassist Flea commanding the band’s lead instrument, but that the new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer still has no idea what he’s actually doing there.Normally by this point in an RHCP album we would have heard John Frusciante’s soaring lead guitar flying high over Flea’s supporting -yet-still-awesome bassline. It’s clear that this time around, the band is rebuilding itself from the ground up — somewhat successfully. The whole album is reminiscent of “One Hot Minute,” another Frusciante-less album. Which is fine, but like that one, it seems like “I’m With You” isn’t going to make waves with anyone but hardcore fans.

It’s painfully obvious that the album doesn’t really pick up any steam until track six, “Look Around,” which is reminiscent of “Californication” and what most people love to hear from RHCP — a funk-driven, rocking good time. While it stands up on its own two feet as a solid track, it doesn’t really tread any new ground and isn’t something people don’t already have in their iTunes from the band. Even the single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” kind of comes and goes offering little after their five-year hiatus.

The album closes with the mediocre “Dance, Dance, Dance,” which is honestly a boring way to end. The middle would be forgivable if it left a good aftertaste but the average listener might be left wanting more.

“I’m With You” just seems to be missing something this time around — something that the Red Hot Chili Peppers can’t blame Frusciante for taking with him. This effort, their 10th, is lacking some of the funk that they’ve built a dedicated fan base around. With an altered lineup they had the opportunity for a fresh start, something they seem to have only done halfway. The result is kind of flat — it cracks and crumbles under lazy lyricism and tired hooks. While the band is trying to convince us that they’re with their fans, the fans will probably not be able to say the same.