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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Track-by-Track: Foxy Shazam - The Church Of Rock & Roll

Hallelujah! Seriously, there isn't a better band in America than Foxy Shazam, and this album proves it. Their self-titled 2010 release was my favorite of that year. I can see this making it to the top for 2012, and it's only January. The band have often stated that they want to be the biggest group in the world. They certainly sound like it. While not as thundering and boisterous as their older stuff, the guys have tightened their ear for melody and infused this album with a different kind of bombast. Layered, Queen-like vocals battle with tight arrangements that keep Church speeding along, even in its slower moments. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that my favorite band in the world is The Ark. Now that they've called it quits, I might just have some new rock and roll heroes...
I apologize in advance for my rambling in this review. I'm so excited about this album, and it's difficult for me to put that in words. If there's any bad thing I could say about it, it would be that it's too short. One thing's for sure... BUY. THIS. ALBUM. The guys need it. They need to be a huge as their music deserves.

1. Welcome To The Church Of Rock & Roll - A deliriously over-the-top, epic album opener. At just over two minutes, it doesn't stick around for long, but it fills every second with more hooks and craziness than most entire albums. 10/10

2. I Like It - Before hearing the album, I probably would have given this buzz single a nine. Now, I'm just obsessed with it. The gargantuan riffs and hilariously in your face lyrics fit perfectly alongside the rest of the tracks. It's definitely one of the rawer songs, especially when it comes to the production. 10/10

3. Holy Touch - This is the moment when I realized that the album was going to be very special. It's the perfect meld of pop and rock, like The Darkness and The Ark and Queen all thrown together in a blender. Yet it's still undeniably Foxy Shazam. The high note is unearthly, and the spoken bit at the end is actually very charming (unlike Cher Lloyd's irritating "ad-lib" at the end of her track Want You Back last year). 10/10

4. Last Chance At Love - Brilliant. This is power pop the way it used to be written before melody took a back seat to beat and production. It's remeniscent of The Darkness's I Believe In A Thing Called Love, but it takes itself more seriously and is much better for it. Should be a single. 10/10

5. Forever Together - The first ballad on the album, and it's an utter charmer. Eric's vocals and lyrics are simple but incredibly effective. It's more stripped down than I've ever heard the band, but becomes a nice singalong as the song moves forward. 10/10

6. (It's) Too Late Baby - And the amazing songs keep coming! This is a definite standout, alternating between quietly churning verses and a huge, massive, almighty chorus. Seriously, you won't believe it. It sounds like all the best 80's rock groups thrown together. Just a wall-of-sound... an army of vocals that make this one of their finest anthems. 10/10

7. I Wanna Be Yours - It's hard to live up to the last track, which is probably why this suffers in comparison. It's great (every song on this album is great), but of everything, it feels the most like filler. It's got a rootsy, stomping glam sound to it. 9/10

8. Wasted Feelings - The verses are sung completely in falsetto, which is a first for the band (I think). But it's the chorus that makes this truly amazing. It's a rousing, rollicking sing-along. The bits at the end are hilariously cool. You'll have to listen to see what I mean. 10/10

9. The Temple - Easily the heaviest track on the album. It's also probably my least favorite, but that's down more to my personal taste than the actual quality of the song. I love the melody and the guitars, but there's just something about it that doesn't quite live up to the (very high) standard of the rest of the album (for me). 8/10

10. The Streets - Awesome, anthemic chorus. The verses are a little crazy, but once it hits that chorus -- especially the ad-libbed end bit -- it's pure bliss. 10/10

11. Freedom - This is the best ballad I've ever heard from the band. It's incredibly simple and very powerful because of that. To me, this sounds like a long lost classic hit single from the 70's. Much of the album could be described this way, but this is one of the biggest highlights. 10/10

Album Grade: 9.7/10

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Anonymous ArkArmy said...

Great review Nick. For me it wasn't love at first listen, but now after my third time, I must say I am really starting to love it. "Holy Touch" is such a great first single and will surely attract more fans. Also the video is hilarious. I am going to see them live together with the Darkness in a few weeks. and I really wish that you would see them in concert too, because afterwards you'd love them even more.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I'm seeing them with The Darkness at the end of next month when they come to Seattle! I'm SO pumped!!

8:37 PM  
Anonymous ArkArmy said...

OMG, I am so excited for you. Can't wait to heard how you liked it. Have a blast.

9:59 PM  
Blogger ChrisG161 said...

Hello fellow Foxettes....I had never heard of them until I saw them supporting The Darkness here in the UK....completeley blown away and now have all their albums. "Church" is fantastic isn't it....hopefully it will break them all around the world and give them the fame & fortune they deserve !!!

10:59 AM  

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