Foxy Shazam review by Foxy Shazam

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  • Released: Apr 13, 2010
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.9 (21 votes)
Foxy Shazam: Foxy Shazam
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Sound — 6
Foxy Shazam is the ultimate acquired taste, and this reviewer is not quite ready to indulge in large doses of the Cincinnati, Ohio, band. While it's true that there are few if any rock acts out there resembling Foxy Shazam's sound, the sextet at times is so over-the-top with their arrangements (specifically vocals) that it's hard to take everything completely seriously. With the band's third studio release, a self-titled album on the Sire Records label, Foxy Shazam provides a uninhibited, detailed glimpse at who they are as musicians, and although not always palatable, is at least distinct from the hordes of other groups today. The focal point of every song is undeniably vocalist Eric Sean Nally, who combines a high-pitched, spastic vibrato with the charisma of a musical theater performer. Again, he's entirely unique and you certainly won't find many carbon copies of Nally. The problem is that his presence is so grandiose and over-the-top that it takes over most of the instrumentation. An immediate impression is made in the first few seconds of the CD, with the sound of moaning/barking dogs and Nally declaring, There are sure a lot of dogs out this eveningPerhaps they can assist me. Interestingly enough, that bit of dialogue pales in comparison to anything Nally sings in terms of sheer drama. There is a pop-heavy influence to most of the 13 tracks on the self-title album, with many of them feeling like throwbacks to the golden era of rock and roll, the 1950's. Bye Bye Sympathy and Killin It certainly have the old school, piano-driven ballad feel to something you'd hear by many a Doo Wop group back in the day. Bombs Away is more up-tempo, but it also carries an old-fashioned feel that is backed by a polished horn section. It wouldn't be surprising to learn that Nally and the gang are also big Rocky Horror Show fans because a lot of songs have that same type of style as, say, Hot Patootie. The track Teenage Demon Baby is a prime example, and for the most part Foxy Shazam does a successful job at bringing that stage-show feel to their music. Most of the tracks do feel extremely forced and comically uncomfortable, however. So if you're leery of musical theater, you may want to steer clear.

Lyrics — 6
Much like the musical foundation, Foxy Shazam's lyrics don't shy away from melodramatic themes. The best example arrives in the band's first single Wanna Be Angel, which includes such lines as, I want my friends to think I'm awesome; Awesome, awesome, yeah! I want this world to think I care; I don't care at all! The topics and general lyrical content becomes a bit more creative in Only Way To My Heart (if you care to know, you will need an axe to get to cardiac area), but once again it's not for anyone who enjoys subtlety.

Overall Impression — 6
Foxy Shazam may be one of those acts that will eventually grow on you. Nally sings his heart out in every track and certainly doesn't sound like anybody else out there, but that's not always a good thing at least in this case. In concert the entire package may go over extremely well, but Foxy Shazam's sound just comes across as a bit too overproduced (and exhausting) in the traditional CD format.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    hanktehlordochi
    I really can't see the criticism of Foxy's lack of a desire to be taken seriously lyrically to be a valid one. There are plenty of musicians out there "pouring out their soul" who I will never take seriously. There is no reason for high energy rock and roll to have lyrics that make you think about how difficult it is to be in a relationship. What does matter is writing awesome music. Say what you will about the quality of the lyrics, I dare you to listen to this album and not get any lines stuck in your head. Foxy Shazam is one of the most original bands of the decade, yet they're songs are catchier than almost anything on the radio today. As far as I'm concerned, this album was by far the best album of 2010, and is very possibly Foxy Shazam's best album. (I say this as someone who has been listening to Foxy since the Flamingo Trigger days)
    catman1
    I think this reviewer is either a troll or an idiot. OF COURSE they're not trying to be taken seriously. They have some of the best musical chops of any band out there, and they put it to great use. Personally, I prefer the early Flamingo Trigger-era Foxy, but this is still a fantastic record. "Teenage Demon Baby," "Count Me Out," and "Wanna-Be Angel" are just unbelievably good. And there's nothing wrong with writing songs with funny lyrics. The "all you hipsters" part cracks me up every time.
    Crimson Ghost
    My favorite album of 2010 so far. They're an AMAZING band. To top off the great album, they're even better live. They're all very nice people too
    hermelmet
    idiot reviewer clearly didnt listen to the album. "Bye Bye Sympathy?" "SYMPHONY" maybe???
    caleb69
    Moevot wrote: Foxy Shazam is the ultimate acquired taste I dont think you've listened to Fleurety.. HAHA I can't believe someone actually mentioned Fleurety. One of my favorite bands ever. +1000 to you good sir!
    OH. MY. BGOD. id forgotten fleurety even existed!!! +100000 for reminding me of them
    huevos
    EpiExplorer wrote: Foxy Shazam is the ultimate acquired taste I dont think you've listened to Fleurety..
    I can generally stomach avant-garde pretty well, but Fleurety is just really far leftfield. They really push the limits, because it gets overbearing for me. Says a lot about them if they can weird me out...
    Lt.DanHasLegs wrote: jtalep wrote: 'not for anyone who enjoys subtlety' Well I for one am bored of so many bands that all sound the same, and bring nothing new...yes, they are an aquired taste, but only because of this modern mainstream era we're in. And what era would you prefer? You say that like the radio has more control of the music we get than ever, which is not only wrong, but completely opposite. There's never been a better time to be a fan of music than now, you can get ANYTHING you want. I'll take that over anything that's been before this.
    On top of the fact that the music of the past is still available to us. No real loss there. Foxy Shazam are always a fun band. Hope they stay that way in this album.
    iH8CarAccidents
    jtalep wrote: 'not for anyone who enjoys subtlety' Well I for one am bored of so many bands that all sound the same, and bring nothing new...yes, they are an aquired taste, but only because of this modern mainstream era we're in. I think they are refreshingly different, and who cares if the front man is 'over the top'...it worked for Freddie Mercury
    I'm glad someone brought up Freddy Mercury. Eric Nally really reminds me of him in some ways. Also, AMAZING live show. One of the best I've ever seen. Like someone mentioned before, the guy EATS CIGARETTES onstage. I never heard him threaten someone in the crowd before, but he did sing the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire theme song while pretending to play piano on the keyboardist's back. At first I thought these guys were just way too weird, but they've found a special place in my heart.
    Zapfire
    I just feel like they try wayyyyy too hard to be different and unique and it comes across as too over the top.
    metal jello
    You either get this band or you don't. Simple enough. They are indeed over the top, and this album is actually more mainstream in sound in comparison to their older music (which I personally prefer). If you are used to every band sounding the same, you probably won't like these guys. If you want to hear something and see something you've never exeperienced before, these guys are it. Eric is a freak (the Freddie Mercury of our generation) and Sky is a madman. One of the greatest bands of our age.
    Lt.DanHasLegs
    jtalep wrote: 'not for anyone who enjoys subtlety' Well I for one am bored of so many bands that all sound the same, and bring nothing new...yes, they are an aquired taste, but only because of this modern mainstream era we're in.
    And what era would you prefer? You say that like the radio has more control of the music we get than ever, which is not only wrong, but completely opposite. There's never been a better time to be a fan of music than now, you can get ANYTHING you want. I'll take that over anything that's been before this.
    Nitrate
    The UG team clearly listens to too much crappy radio friendly shit.This is refreshingly different and Foxy provide 13 killer tracks.
    offspring_punk
    I'm actually from the Cinci area and I know the band personally. I've never really been a big fan, but I've sort of supported them, just for the local factor. They definitely are unique, but as the review says, that's not always a good thing. They're trying too hard to be different and it's just awkward. Nothing really works together and in all honesty, they're just a little retarded in the head from my personal experiences with them.
    Moevot
    Foxy Shazam is the ultimate acquired taste I dont think you've listened to Fleurety..
    HAHA I can't believe someone actually mentioned Fleurety. One of my favorite bands ever. +1000 to you good sir!
    ninjagayden777
    This album is absolutely amazing, but not nearly as good as Flamingo Trigger. Bring back the breakdowns, guys!
    reservedforchoi
    They played at a venue by my house, and the singer did the same thing. He smoked like 20 cigs at a time and then ate them. Gross. They also played their entire set naked. haha wtf? Sideshow much?
    Bananapatata
    My fave album of the year so far. It just has this huge sound. It's like queen with a modern twist.
    Zapfire
    This band is way too strange. theres a line of strange-ness and they definitely cross it haha
    Ashland112
    Sorry to double post but I meant to mention that the singer ate an entire pack of cigarettes after one song and then threatened to smash some guys head into the concrete after the show if he didn't "shut the Fuck up"
    Ashland112
    Saw these guys livew/the sounds. A great show. The singer and keyboardist are crazy as hell haha.
    metalxsymphony
    I really didn't like the new album. Their first album is what really defined them. It was spastic and over the top like the Blood Brothers. All the edge and the bite has been replaced with top 40 Billboardish sound. The vocals are still crazy, but the rest of the band is just plain generic and boring now.
    jtalep
    'not for anyone who enjoys subtlety' Well I for one am bored of so many bands that all sound the same, and bring nothing new...yes, they are an aquired taste, but only because of this modern mainstream era we're in. I think they are refreshingly different, and who cares if the front man is 'over the top'...it worked for Freddie Mercury
    jigamuf
    Awesome band though singer sometimes backs off on projecting his voice.