Foxy Shazam Revive Classic Rock With ‘The Church Of Rock And Roll’ [REVIEW]
Foxy Shazam deliver a surprisingly infectious collection of tracks by revisiting (and reinventing) the grandeur of 70’s classic rock on their new album ‘The Church of Rock and Roll.’
Cincinnati, Ohio’s experimental alt-rockers, Foxy Shazam, transport us to a time when melody and the guitar solo were king — the 1970’s. Everything about ‘The Church of Rock and Roll’ screams classic rock, even the cover looks like one of those ‘The Very Best of…’ or ‘The Essential…’ albums. Foxy Shazam have tapped into the essence of vintage rock by simultaneously spotlighting Eric Nally’s powerful vocals (which sound oddly similar to that of Cher at certain points) and Loren Turner’s incendiary guitar work.
The band’s fourth album begins, poetically, with the indictment of modern music ‘Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll.’ Within the first 30 seconds Nally belts out “There’s nothing new to listen to, we’ve heard it through and through” before screaming “Your music sucks…including us.” An interesting strategy that actually serves as the perfect intro to an album the evokes the sound of bands like Queen, as they do on the following track and lead single ‘I Like It.’
‘I Like It,’ though comically based on one’s enjoyment of big-asses, is one of the funnest (and catchiest) rock songs released in a long time. There were moments during the next couple of songs — ‘Holy Touch’ and ‘Last Chance At Love’ that I actually laughed at, thinking “Wow! They’re going there?” The unpredictably comical moments actually strengthened the tunes which serve as two of the album’s best.
The record packs several fiery guitar solos from Turner, most notably on the songs ‘(It’s) Too Late Baby,’ ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘Wasted Feelings’ — which features a groovy blues shuffle and call-and-response backup vocals reminiscent of the Rolling Stones best work. With a lumbering riff that feels like it weighs a ton and clever lyrical prowess, the true standout on ‘Church…’ comes in the form of ‘The Temple.’ Keeping the classic feel, the album’s closing track revives a sentiment “from a bygone era” on the Styx-esque sing-along ‘Freedom.’
While their approach blends the comedic aspects of Tenacious D and Spinal Tap while echoing many beloved 70’s rock acts, ‘The Church of Rock and Roll’ is a, somehow, refreshing and fun listen. Foxy Shazam have managed to succeed where bands like The Darkness have previously failed — creating a collection of tracks that feel like instant classics instead of caricatures. Paying worship at ‘The Church of Rock and Roll’ is our new guilty pleasure.
Final Verdict: Foxy Shazam reinvent 70’s rock with classic themes and comedy to create an experience that will have you looking at your iPod in confusion, then hitting repeat and singing along.
Listen To Foxy Shazam’s ‘I Like It’