Alex Lebl, Contributing Writer
This is by far one of the most whimsical and fun bands I have ever discovered. It has one of the most unique sounds I have ever heard, and lead singer Eric Nally has one of the most broad vocal ranges out there.
The band’s latest album, The Church of Rock and Roll, was released at the beginning of last year, and I was tremendously excited about it since its previous release, Foxy Shazam, was such a magical record. The newer album retains many of the same qualities as the band’s eponymous album: frantic piano licks, crunchy bass grooves and a fierce trumpet driving all of the songs along.
The Church of Rock and Roll begins with the title track, which sets up the premise of the whole album. It is a super-catchy opener, with Nally’s voice soaring over a church choir, horns and catchy guitar lines. Following this song is the first single, “I Like It,” which contains the funkiest groove on the entire album. The song opens with a killer bassline and only gets funkier from there with the addition of more instruments. The lyrics are hilarious.
“I Like It” is the strongest song on the album, but coming in at a close second is “Holy Touch,” which drives forward with the amazing energy typical of most Foxy Shazam songs. The choir returns in this track, which makes the song sound huge. “Last Chance at Love” is another wonderful song from The Church of Rock and Roll; it showcases the band’s ability to write a pop song without sacrificing its trademark sound. “Forever Together,” a sentimental ballad that Nally wrote for his son, again demonstrates the band’s talent.
At this halfway point, the album heads a little downhill. Yes, songs like “Wasted Feelings” and “(It’s) Too Late Baby” are good songs, but they just do not have the zazz and energy that the first half of the album has. Many of the later songs lack the feeling that characterizes Foxy Shazam’s music. They are catchy, but they aren’t songs you will play over and over again. The album ends on a bit of a down slope with “Freedom,” which is a little disappointing.
If The Church of Rock and Roll had a little more energy toward the end, the album would be a knockout. Unfortunately, it lacks the whimsy that makes Foxy Shazam so unique. It was always going to be hard to follow up an album as captivating and delightful as Foxy Shazam, and the band came very close to matching it. The album is a great listen, but it can be somewhat hard to finish. There are some moments of magic, however, which show that Foxy Shazam is definitely a band that will get you a-groovin’. 7/10.