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Foxy Shazam: The Church of Rock and Roll

Foxy Shazam
The Church of Rock and Roll
(Capitol)

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I have this vague recollection of seeing Foxy Shazam on TV years ago. I remember being really excited by what I saw. They were kooky, theatrical, and circusy. Either my memory is flawed or Foxy Shazam has undergone some kind of makeover.

If the title of the album makes you think of The Gospel According to Spinal Tap, that’s actually not too far off. The main adjective that springs to mind when listening to The Church of Rock and Roll is “overblown.” Heavy metal guitars and drums sound huge, augmented by pianos and horns. Eric Nally’s powerful wail is backed by an army of harmonies, which all form an enveloping wall of sound. Think Queen with more of a taste for the ridiculous. Actually, they sound like they are picking up where The Darkness left off. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised to find out that Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins produced this record. Like The Darkness’ two albums, The Church of Rock and Roll is fun, bombastic, and hard to take seriously.

It begins with “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll,” which declares, “Your music sucks, including us./It’s time we clear our name.” So I guess they did make a conscious decision to retool their sound and sold their soul for rock ‘n’ roll in the process. This song is followed by the gigantic rock track, “I Like It,” with it’s sing along chorus, I kid you not, “That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen and I like it.” As silly as it sounds, it’s probably my favorite song on the album. There are one or two more pretty decent over-the-top rockers but the novelty wears off quickly. The Church of Rock and Roll bears plenty of moments that made me smile, but that just isn’t enough for me. If you’re a fan of 70′s style cock-rock you can’t do much better than this in the 2010′s. For all others, it’s not a bad listen, but you may want to seek out something more substantial.

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