Foxy Shazam | The Church of Rock and Roll (I.R.S.)

cd foxy-shazamInfluences aside, The Church of Rock and Roll is all Foxy Shazam, with big guitars, piano, trumpets, and the wailing tenor and falsetto Nally is known for.

 

If you could hop in a DeLorean with Doctor Emmit Brown and bring to the present Freddie Mercury, Meat Loaf, and the guys from Mötley Crüe to record an album with much of their sound from the ‘70 s and ‘80 s, you would get a product that sounds a hell of a lot like Foxy Shazam’s The Church of Rock and Roll. Lead singer Eric Sean Nally and the guys from Foxy Shazam channel so much arena rock that you better have a big sound system to really get the full effect. The album was produced by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness—with whom Foxy Shazam will tour prior to their own headlining tour—and you get the feeling that Hawkins brought quite a bit of his influence to the record. Songs like “Holy Touch” and “Last Chance at Love” have a style very reminiscent of The Darkness, leading one to wonder how Hawkins came into play on the album.

Influences aside, The Church of Rock and Roll is all Foxy Shazam, with big guitars, piano, trumpets, and the wailing tenor and falsetto Nally is known for. Church is a lot more unrefined than previous Foxy Shazam albums, leading to a purer rock sound with less computer production. A testament to this is “Last Chance at Love.” The track begins with some simple chords, the drums come in, and Nally begins, “She says can I hold you/ I’m too far for a touch/ She says I’m so lonely/ Don’t you say that too much.” From there, we get everything from trumpet solo (courtesy of Alex Nauth) and gang vocals to some cowbell in the background. First single “I Like It” is another big rock song with heavy drums and a great bass groove; while Nally tells the story of the largest African-American gluteus maximus he has ever seen, he doesn’t really phrase it that way.

Foxy Shazam mixes the album up a bit with a few slower tracks, as well. “(It’s) Too Late Baby” begins with a slow almost tropical drum beat and the gang vocals “Too late baby/ No place left to go/ Too late baby/ No No No,” before Nally jumps into the story of a lost love. We are treated on the track to a great guitar solo, showing what Loren Daniel Turner is capable of when let loose. The other standout slow track is “Forever Together,” which mixes elements of piano, guitar picking, and the tale of being on the road and missing your family.

For those who want the polished sounds we have routinely been getting from mainstream rock music for the last few years, this album probably isn’t for you. For those who want an arena rock album that draws on some of the greats of the ’70s and ’80 s, look no further than Foxy Shazam’s The Church of Rock and Roll. The members of Foxy Shazam have outdone themselves, and although it’s early, look for this record to be one of the better releases of the year. A | Kyle Green

RIYL: The Darkness, Queen, Meat Loaf

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