Foxy Shazam is one of the most dynamic and outright FABULOUS acts performing music today. There, I said it. A good friend turned me on to the group several years back and I've always managed to keep a watchful eye on their developments since. It is now 2012 and the world has not ended yet, Foxy Shazam put out a wild new record, and TI-83 calculators still cost like eighty Fuckin bucks.
Unable to stick to a single aesthetic, Foxy's latest album The Church of Rock and Roll had me staring at my speakers in sheer disbelief at what I was hearing. The dudes managed to out-weird things once again and saturated their sound with lavish amounts of 80s glam/pop. If someone made some elaborate conspiracy theory about how the original members of various 70s and 80s rock acts were cloned and contained in some secret research facility (not far from the premise of the film Moon) in order to make records like this one, I would have a hard time making a counter-argument. Imagine Def Leppard, James Brown, and Queen getting sealed in a Cold War-era Soviet bunker with sufficient quantities of booze, food rations, and musical instruments. By the end of the first day someone MacGyver'd a barbecue setup and Freddie Mercury carpentered a makeshift bar. Months later, an unmastered full-length album emerged and somehow got leaked on to the internet. In order to cover up the massive conspiracy of aforementioned pop star replicants existing, a band under the name Foxy Shazam was quickly assembled to perform said music. Needless to say, the experiment itself was immediately shutdown and the entire facility was sterilized with napalm.
For being as incredibly grandiose and glamorous as the album is, a strong tone of sincerity and "realness" is kept apparent. The Church of Rock and Roll is a pop record with a mammoth amount of flavor and is edgy enough to indicate that these guys aren't selling out for the intention of getting radio play. This isn't some cookie-cutter ensemble of Los Angeles jerkoffs playing overproduced and by-the-book music. No, these are some dudes from the car exhaust-ridden gooch of the midwest (Ohio) playing heartfelt party jams and nearly killing themselves at their shows. Frontman Eric Sean Nally is a dainty beast onstage. Don't believe me? Go to see them live. Too much of a broke sack of shit to do so? Search the YouTubes for the "cigarette trick" Eric does. That is all.
The Church of Rock and Roll reinforces the fact that each Foxy Shazam album makes a significant departure from its previous iteration. While this might enrage some who managed to develop a strong taste for a specific-era of Foxy, the upkeep in freshness has certainly turned its fair share of heads in a positive respect. Either you "get" what these cats are pulling off or you don't.