Foxy Shazam - 'Self Titled' (Sire Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Monday, 11 October 2010 05:00

foxy176Cincinnati oddities Foxy Shazam return with their third album, their first for a major label, with all the post-hardcore thoughts of previous albums 'The Flamingo Trigger' and 'Introducing' being washed away by a sea of grin-inducing, awe-inspiring musical majesty that drowns their essential self-titled album and leaves the listener wet with excitement after hearing the most camp, most fun album that has emerged in recent history.


Labelled "rock 'n' soul" and with legends as varied as Queen, The Stooges, Elton John, Marvin Gaye and 'Born To Run' era Springsteen pinned to them as influences, Foxy Shazam certainly are a rock 'n' roll curiosity box that, once opened, cannot help but spill sunshine into your life.


Vocalist Eric Sean Nally's star quality is such that you would think that every cell in his being glitters. And his voice (close your eyes while listening and you're sure to forget you are listening to a guy at times), an unbelievable mix of Butch Walker at his most mischievous, Paul Heaton and fucking Cher, will carry this record all the way to the heart of your record collection....if you still have a sense of humour, keen ear and love for life, of course. Nally worked (alongside Justin Hawkins, who lends a suitably subtle guitar solo to killer cut 'Count Me Out' here) on a couple of tracks for the latest Meat Loaf album 'Hang Cool Teddy Bear' and the Loaf's legacy of overblown, OTT rock may well be a good reference point for this, seriously, excellent third record from a band whose punk rock spirit enshrouds even the most absurd parts of this long player.


If the intro to the album, complete with barking dog harmonies and Pee-Wee Herman style vocals, that seques into the soaring 'Bombs Away' doesn't grab you immediately then please check your pulse for you may already be dead. First song proper, the piano-driven 'Wanna-Be Angel', has bigger hooks than an obese cenobite while the aforementioned 'Count Me Out' opens in glorious power pop fashion before getting the funk out. 'Bye Bye Symphony' has lyrics - "Life is a bitch, but she's totally do-able" - that are sure to curl even the thickest moustache up into a smile, while 'Unstoppable' camps out in Queen territory. You might have already heard the band's first UK single 'Oh Lord' and, though it serves as a perfect appetizer for this album, it only really scratches the surface of this glorious musical mash-up. Take 'Connect' for example; try listening to this gospel-tinged piece of purest modern pop without visualising the inevitable hit music video. In fact, there are more potential singles here than at a Lord Of The Rings convention.


There are signs that Foxy Shazam are on the brink of some serious notoriety. 'Unstoppable' was featured at Super Bowl XLIV and this band are, honestly, just a couple of major support slots away from breaking out of the cult band rut; put them on at the major festivals with a bit of a push and watch the sunburnt pricks take to this band like they took to The Darkness or Scissor Sisters. Seriously, there are major crossover possibilities for Foxy Shazam and if they can't do it with this supreme self-titled record then someone at the record label isn't doing their job properly.


The band may still be a little too off-kilter for everyone to 'get it' but we all have guilty pleasuresapproved_image_lrg and I'm sure that this album can be yours. Essential listening for the hi-fi curious.