And I Like It, a Little Bit
Alec WeaverApril 5, 2012 3:51 PM EDT
A while back a friend of mine introduced me to a wild band that I had never heard of. Coming back from his annual Hajj to Warped Tour he spun me a tale of incredible on-stage antics such as pianos being played with feet and cigarettes being eaten. If by now you haven't figured it out, this exotic new band was none other than Foxy Shazam. They very quickly became the soundtrack to that crazy, last summer before my freshman year in college and whenever I hear one of their songs I am instantly reminded of dreadlocks and Jimmy Wongs. So when I heard earlier this year that they were coming out with a new album I was instantly excited. "OH BOY!" I thought, "Another head-banging, Queen-esqe, good time jam album!" (yes those were my actual thoughts) However, upon getting to the halfway mark in the album I was less than pleased. But why? Let's break this down and find out:
Okay so you have "Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll" it's full of driving rhythms and power chords and loud, intense, rock choirs that would rival any glam-band worth its salt. A solid start. Next, we make it to the well-known single "I like it" about Eric's apparent affinity for African-American ladies with prolific posteriors (if it wasn't already made apparent by the music video for their single "Oh Lord"). Ok I can still dig it, this album is starting well. Continuing, we get to my favorite song on the entire album "Holy Touch" full of Alex Nauth's trumpet fanfare and a breakdown in the middle that has Eric wailing on a supersonic level. "Last chance at love" has Eric in prime form, crooning about his need for companionship. But this is where the album dies. Up until this point it has all been the Foxy that we know and love, but "together forever" just kills the mood, not because it's slow or somber it's just that the song is more of a coffee-house ballad than the heart wrenching tune that is "Evil Thoughts". Then you have "It's Too Late Baby" which sounds more or less like Toto, and from there the album drones on and on leaving me to wonder, where's Foxy? The album on the whole isn't bad, so why don't I care for this new sound? It finally hit me when I was sitting with that same friend who first brought Eric and the boys to my attention. The album doesn't have that "Sing along" quality that their previous one did. Every single song on their previously self-titled album makes me turn my volume up just a little higher until by the time I reach "some kind of love" (my favorite, all-time Foxy song) I've almost blown a speaker. The Church of Rock and Roll just doesn't do that for me. Then in retrospect, perhaps I'm biased. That first album reminds me of one of the best chapters in my life, and as such holds a spot in my heart that any new Foxy music could never live up to.