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Day 329: Foxy Shazam – The Church of Rock and Roll

23 Jan

Welcome to the Church of Rock And Roll

“Foxy Shazam is a jet plane going down, and we have been playing the same tune the whole way. It just sounds different the closer we get to the ground,” reads the insert of Foxy Shazam’s newest CD (which technically comes out tomorrow, but my preorder came in a day early). I’ve only listened to three of this band’s four records, but from the stuff I’ve heard, there is no better (or more ominous) way to describe this group and their approach to music.  Not one record sounds like another, which led to an initial disappointment when I first checked out Introducing—I was expecting more Queen-inspired cheese-rock glory, like I found on their self-titled effort.  This time around, the band has decided to try and revive classic rock of a more standard variety—think Guns N’ Roses, with a little flamboyant twist.

Based on this record, it’s clear that Eric Nally is not one to do the same thing with his music for too long.  He shouts “your music sucks including us / it’s time we clear our name.”  I’m not entirely sure what to make of that statement, but it sure as hell goes perfectly with some raging guitar riffs and an extremely fast tempo.

From Boston (“(It’s) Too Late Baby”) to Kansas (“I Wanna Be Yours”), it seems that no old school rock band is safe from imitation by Foxy.  I’m not complaining because it all manages to sound good.  Plus, it’s original enough to justify its existence.

I hope the Foxy Shazam plane has just begun its descent—I can’t wait to hear whatever else they have in store for us.

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Day 222: Foxy Shazam – Introducing

8 Oct

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Foxy Shazam’s self-titled release, which is actually their third full length and most recent work, is nothing short of spectacular.  Regular readers may remember that it was good enough to earn the #2 spot on my First Half Top 5.  I love the approach to rock n’ roll that the guys take on that record.  It’s one of the most exhilarating pieces of music that I’ve ever heard, as the band throws out track after track of flashy Queen-inspired gold.  There’s also no denying that it has one of the best covers in history, one that currently holds the honor and distinction of serving as my desktop’s background.

Long story short, any other record by these guys has a whole lot to live up to.  Introducing, the group’s second record, doesn’t just come up short of the band’s latter magnum opus, it falls flat on its face.

It’s clear that Foxy front man Eric Nally was not quite comfortable with his sound while recording Introducing.  Bits and pieces of the flamboyant and flashy Eric that I’ve come to love make all-too-infrequent appearances, usually on the slower, piano-dominated tracks like A Black Man’s Breakfast (don’t ask me about that title).  The rest of the time, he’s just screaming over generic guitar chugs and a noticeably less-catchy keyboard, perhaps doing what he thought was expected of him.

Fortunately for the entire human population, these guys reined it in and became a little more self-confident in time for their next album.  Yes, Introducing is disappointing, but it is kind of interesting to hear the origins of such a good band.  Now, excuse me, I’m going to give Foxy Shazam another spin. I recommend that you do so as well.

Day 152: Foxy Shazam – Foxy Shazam

30 Jul

Killin’ It

And we’re back.  I know, I know, you all have desperately missed the reliability and punctuality that you’ve come to love and expect from Swole Ear.  Well, I’ve returned from the wilderness that is Northfield, Minnesota, and am back in the Chi-ish.  Hopefully, Carleton College’s Summer Writing Program has worked some kind of miracle, and this blog will turn into something worth your time.

But probably not.  Anyway, here’s what I think about Foxy Shazam.

You know how sometimes, you can just tell that you’re going to love a record based on the first few seconds of the opening track?  Well, that’s not the case here.  This record opens with about 30 seconds of a couple of dogs barking.  Those woofs and barks slowly synchronize, and then melt away into a powerful, arena ready, mosh-tastic stream of over-the-top happiness.  I knew that I was going to love this record based on the first minute and a half.

You know me; I’m a sucker for catchy hooks, enthusiastic vocals, and an overall sense of happy.  That’s exactly what I got out of Foxy Shazam’s Foxy Shazam.  This record is relentless.  It pounds you over the head with rainbows and sunshine (if you ignore a lot of the lyrics) for all of its 43 minutes.  It’s pretty much screaming “YOU WILL LOVE ME” with a Heath Ledger Joker style grin on its face.  And guess what, you will love it, unless you’re devoid of a soul.

Sure, lots of the lyrics deal with breakups and the suckyness of life.  On the other hand, a good portion are about happiness and bright futures.  Ultimately, this record bleeds pure awesome, and if you don’t like it, I don’t like you.