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Friday, April 04, 2014

Foxy Shazam's "Gonzo" - A Fan's Lament

Cincinnati-based band Foxy Shazam have been a huge part of my musical life over the past four years. They've released my favorite albums of 2010 and 2012 and my favorite single of 2010. I've seen them live twice and truly adored their larger than life sound and image. So, I was obviously stoked when they surprise-released their new album (for free!) a couple of days ago.

The problem is, Gonzo is not the Foxy Shazam I've grown to love. It's one of the things I hate most when it comes to rock and pop music... it's lo-fi. I realize this is completely a matter of opinion, but I like my rock music big and world-conquering. Now, the band have self-released this album and it's obviously meant to be a smaller, more "live" sounding record. I get that. But I can't bear hearing Eric's vocals produced this way. It just feels so drained out. The frustrating thing is that a handful of these songs (Brutal Truth, in particular) would sound absolutely immense in the hands of past collaborators Rob Cavallo or Justin Hawkins.

It's unfortunately a very difficult time for rock music in America, so much so that a band of this caliber has a hard time breaking into the mainstream. Money, I'm sure, is a concern.  Still, this album is reminding me of The Ark's last release times a million. It's just not my thing at all. Fortunately, I just discovered a new b-side from the last album that I never knew existed. I'll be listening to that instead, I think.

If you're curious, you can download Gonzo here. I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Blogger Striped Shirt Media said...

I was so excited that there was a new album out and then so incredibly disheartened when I listened to it. You're not alone. What happened? Such a sad day.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it means so much more than people are giving it credit for. It's full of really sad and emotional songs. I felt the same way and then went back and forth but now I'm getting it. It rewards repeat listens. Seriously consider giving it another chance.

10:23 PM  

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