Is It The Shit? We Review The New Foxy Shazam Album!


These days it seems that there's not just a shortage of bombastic, no-holds-barred rock & roll but a shortage of appreciation for the medium, as well. Sure the kids are down with Queens of the Stoneage, Muse, and the Foo Fighters, but they can't seem to quite get their heads around anything else.

It's as if they have this infinite tolerance for every musical shade of vanilla, but if you give them a little tutti-frutti, a little razzle-dazzle, their heads might explode.

Of course, if you really wanna see their fool heads explode, just play them the new album from Foxy Shazam, The Church of Rock & Roll. Foxy Shazam, just in case you've yet to be initiated ito the Cult Of Foxy, is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio that embodies all that is great about good ol' shameless rock & roll.

Once the needle hits the vinyl on this new platter, you're bound to draw immediate comparisons to UK retro rock renegades The Darkness (who have recently reformed and released a new single, by the way). This is not completely out of line, as the layered backing vocals that recall Queen during their Roy Thomas Baker-produced heyday are a distinct trademark that The Darkness have employed to great effect on their two magnificent albums. Did we mention that The Darkness' singer Justin Hawkins produced The Church Of Rock & Roll?



Hawkins' input is all over this record, but it is by no means as intrusive as one would suspect. While the band does sound remarkably like The Darkness at times, it is only because both bands share an uncanny ability to capture the bombast and vitality of A Night At The Opera-era Queen.

What's great about this album is its superb pacing; an ode to the art of proper sequencing, if ever there was one. The band presents a varied palette of material - from the triumphant one-two punch of "Welcome To The Church of Rock & Roll" and "I Like It" to the plaintive "Forever Together" and the soulful "(It's) Too Late Baby".

For those who were there, it's easy to be reminded of the musical landscape that was the mid-70's, right before punk crashed the party. While punk was a necessary antidote to the self-indulgence that threatened to crush rock & roll under its own weight, it also wiped away the utter joy of making (and enjoying) music for music's sake, free of all pretense.

In most circles, such bands as The Darkness and Foxy Shazam are seen as paying ironic tribute to a by-gone musical age. While some aspects are delivered with tongue firmly planted in cheek, many mistakenly believe that the entire act is put-on.

Ah, that's their problem. In this particular circle, we like our bands bigger-than-life.

Our verdict: This album is THE SHIT!

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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