How does the follow up to doesitrock.net’s 2010’s Album of the Year shape up in 2012?
Foxy Shazam – The Church Of Rock And Roll
Foxy Shazam have taken their foot off the gas on their latest LP, leaving post-hardcore and rip roaring glam-rock sprawled over the trail. Hence it’s no great shock to hear that their latest album curbs the highly energised oddball glam-pop prevalent on releases. As a result the tempo has been significantly reigned. Yet they have made up for this by producing a fine collection of super sing-a-long pop classics with eclectic songwriting and equally varied melodies.
This slackening of pace has given their melodies a chance to sit back, take a breath and enjoy the spotlight. Resulting in a much more focused pop record that falls ever further into the Mercury valley of Queen with its accompanying classic rock guitars and jaunty piano’s circling ‘The Church Of Rock and Rolls‘ vocal centric ideal. The Churchy theme is prevalent throughout with the recurrence of religious track titling, soulful Gospel backing vocals and confessional lyrics (see ‘The Temple‘, ‘The Streets‘, ‘Forever Together‘ respectively).
From the instant the guitars properly kick in, it’s clear as day that Justin Hawkins has played a huge part in his role as producer. The guitar tone is almost identical to his in-limbo band Hot Leg, no bad thing as it’s just so stonkingly rock and roll! The Hawkins brothers influence doesn’t end there either. The Guitar work on the excellent driving rock anthem ‘Last Chance At Love‘ could easily be a lost forgotten The Darkness classic, especially when Nally lift his fine falsetto skywards…it’s strikingly similar, yet definitely different.
Throughout this record the vocals are the centrepiece, with Eric displaying a fine range of smooth croons , anthemic chorus lines and window smashing pitch changes. Maintaining innovating melodies, rarely sticking to a certain style, or mood, or instrument ensures this album never gets tiresome as it’s forever on the move. Exhibit A, Holy Touch: a big gospel romp-a-stomper, Exhibit B, Wasted Feelings: full of dynamic guitars, cool vocal effects and trumpets, Exhibit C: I Like It: vocal centric with bombastic melodies.
So a more laid back Foxy have re-surfaced, but all the delightfully odd characteristics, bonkers eclecticisms and natural born melody making abilities that made them so addictive in the past, are still here for all to enjoy. My only gripe would be the final few tracks do not stand up to the quality of what came before it.
TCORAR is first and foremost a great little pop record, with hard glam-rocking tendencies spontaneously wrangling for the control switch. An early treat for 2012!
DoesItRock Overall Score: 8.5/10