A dog barking, horns blazing and an ear-piercing shriek introduce us in spectacular style to the latest pop phenomenon, Foxy Shazam. A raucous rock ’n’ soul sextet from Cincinnati, they've been treading the boards in their native land for a few years prior to being picked up for this their major label debut and what a stunning introduction it is.
The aforementioned barking and horns kicks off ‘Intro/Bombs Away', a barnstorming, foot-stomping explosion of joy that would be hard to beat as an introduction to any band. ‘Wanna-Be Angel’ follows up with references to hipsters, punk rock and lead singer Eric Sean Nally bellowing, “I’m not gay at all” just to prove that, first and foremost, we're dealing with a showman. In the wrong hands, this could be construed as offensive, cringeworthy or just downright awful but Foxy Shazam get away with it through the sheer force of their superb performance.
As the album progresses you can hear the influences pounding through the speakers; from The Stooges to Queen, The Boss and more soul singers than you can shake a stick at. Maybe even The Beautiful South! But perhaps the most obvious recent comparison could be made to the short-lived rockers The Darkness which is especially obvious on the teen angst saga of ‘Count Me Out’ - but then it does feature the guitar skills of said outfit's Justin Hawkins. Album highlight ‘Bye Bye Symphony’ follows, a piano-led ballad that explodes into an appropriately symphonic conclusion that tells the story of overcoming the obstacles life can throw at you with hilariously OTT lyrics.
At this point you are wondering if there will be any let up but no, the partying continues through the singalong brilliance of lead single ‘Oh Lord’, the gospel funk of 'Connect Me' and the bitter-sweet (but mainly bitter) downbeat jazz of ‘The Only Way To Me Heart’. ‘Evil Thoughts’ brings the party to a close with a beautifully plaintiff tale on the need for love.
There have been a lot of hard partying rock bands from the US of late but none of them have produced an album of such flamboyant brilliance as Foxy Shazam. Jump on board the rocket now, for these boys are heading for the stars.