What do you think of when you hear the name Foxy Shazam? I imagine a magic trick, or maybe a flashy dance move or perhaps a radical explicative. Foxy Shazam are all of these things as rock and roll incarnate. They are here to remind the world what rock and roll is: a loud boisterous rumpus of emotions.
These guys are clearly inspired by AC/DC, Queen and The Darkness. If you’ve seen live footage it is clear their lead singer Eric Sean Nally is striving to be the reincarnation of Freddie Mercury. The myth is that he’ll eat lit cigarettes whole onstage. He howls like a maniac, putting his entire life into his high-pitched squelch. He’s got a voice and knows what to do with his vocal chords: GO LOUD. In fact, everything about this band is loud. The guitars are loud. The drums are loud. Foxy Shazam is like a Michael Bay movie but for music. They fly in fast cars, guns blazing and heads screeching.
Their newest album, Church of Rock & Roll, brings it. They’re not trying to convince you of anything or to be political or to teach a lesson. The Church of Rock & Roll is all about digging in and embracing rock. A lot of it is nonsensical. The lead single’s chorus shouts, “That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen, I LIKE IT I LIKE IT” but through its nonsense a listener can’t help but sing along.
Church of Rock & Roll could be described as a history lesson. It is trudging on a same track traveled before. Theatrical triumph “The Streets” echoes sentiments of positive entrapment in an attempt to garner a streetwise credibility. We’ve heard this song before, written by different artists but declaring the same vibe. And while “I Wanna Be Yours” and “Last Chance At Love” are sentimental and dubiously catchy, they’re rock anthems of yesteryear, still worthwhile but not-so original. The most genuine song on the album is “Forever Today” as a promise from Nally to his son who doesn’t understand the demands of the rock n’ roll lifestyle.
I wonder if Foxy Shazam is real. In many ways Shazam is just a conglomeration of the history of rock n’ roll. They’re not bringing anything brand new to the genre but bringing it back to life. Foxy is a good enough revival. A spectacle and a rumpus and a purely good time.