Foxy Shazam are self-releasing their sixth album, Burn, via their new label EEE OOO AH, on December 11. The distant and remote collaboration between the five-piece is an attempt to further evolve the band’s sound.
While the album has some true bright spots, there are a few pitfalls that leave listeners wanting in this highly anticipated project.
Track 1) Burn
- A strong choice for the first song and album thesis.
- Hints of Electric Light Orchestra.
- The classical piano shimmers to light, the hidden world found in breast-cladden, fantasy pulp fiction, but quickly descends into the berserk rampage of Nicholas Cage on a mission to kill the maniac who burned his beloved Mandy.
Track 2) Dreamer
- If Death Cab for Cutie and Gary Wright procreated to birth a hair ballad.
- The slow, melodic build before Foxy Shazam just lets go and jams, leads us to the inevitable Queen comparison early in the album.
- The band looks and feels like they’re just having a great fucking time, and joy seeps through my speakers and onto my face.
Track 3) Doomed
- A song meant to be epic but forgets to go anywhere in its metal maintenance stairway to purgatory with beige walls.
- However, this song would be a great soundtrack choice in Denis Villenvenue’s upcoming Dune, for when Paul Muad’Dib rides the sandworms into the Battle of Arrakeen.
Track 4) Dreamscape 2020
- Yet another piano intro, however, this one is dark and gloomy with a side of cello. Vincent Price descends down the stairs to deliver you your final fate.
- If Footloose were ever to lose the rights to “Hero,” this would be a great song for Kevin Bacon to do some overdramatic stress flips too.
- A poppy, Outfield rhythm with crisp and classic piano frosting throughout.
Track 5) Never Ever
- Eric Nally hands the vocals over to drummer, Teddy Aitkins, creating a slippy-slidey blend.
- The track would be better served with Nally’s vocals mixed down in order to compliment Aitkins’ arrangement, rather than compete with it. The end result is a bit grating.
- Reminiscent of The Beatles’ “Because.”
- The song is interesting to listen to once but is not an experiment any grant should continue funding.
Track 6) In My Mind
- Sci-fi 80s lasers and horns flash through the song, but the hint of minor tones below the melody make the song less enjoyable than the promise of its first few notes, much like Reagan’s trickle-down economics.
- Nally’s voice, accompanied by the hair-metal chords, gives us insight as to what it would have been like if Michael Jackson invited Gandalf on tour: a sight to see, technically sound, and interesting, but overall not as enjoyable as you thought it would be and a bit of a mess. (I.E. Gandalf screaming “YOU SHALL NOT PASS,” while MJ tries to moonwalk across the stage: ultimately a breakdown in communication.)
Track 7) S.Y.A.A.F.
- Clever and fun lyrics.
- Gorgeous horns.
Track 8) Into the Wild
- A track title that inspires adventure but instead is the monotonous, auto-tuned ride to your spinster aunt’s house with the sour smell.
- A Frank Ocean-inspired base with a dash of Run the Jewels, but the song never rises because Foxy Shazam forgot the yeast.
- This will be the song you unconsciously skip when it comes on your earbuds.
- At most, this song could be used as intro stage and light music before the band enters. I would say it’s just a creative filler on the album, but it runs for 3:19, so I think its intent was to be a track equal amongst its peers.
Track 9) Suffering
- A surprise banger.
- Another song that is reminiscent of the King of Pop. The melody thrums hints of a cheery “Smooth Criminal” with a Tower of Power twist.
- The bridge is an interesting glam rock version of Les Miserables’ “Look Down.” I see a disheveled band doing their best to pull a ship to port, before Foxy Shazam “kung fus” their way back to the dancey beat and the promise of democracy.
Track 10) The Rose
- The record ends on a high with an unsuspecting favorite.
- The song brings to life an intergalactic, pop sound with a Nick Jonas blast of flavor.
- The optimistic response to Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
- The song shines in its simplicity compared to the rest of the album. It’s just a fun, smooth jam, not complicated with a trying structure that still carves a few spots for us to head bang along with the band.
Overall, Foxy Shazam is always a nice, modern addition to glam, hair rock, but Burn as a whole will not be a standout in Foxy Shazam’s discography. The album’s focus on psychedelic, wizardry metal is overused vs. a fun novelty. The album is bookended with the high notes of “Burn,” and “Dreamer,” at the start, and ending with “Suffering” and “The Rose.”
Nevertheless, these accomplishments don’t hide the dull tracks of “Never Ever” or “Into the Wild.” The album’s remaining tracks are technically fresh and creative, but overall, do not make up an album that listeners will be returning to again and again.
Foxy Shazam’s Burn is available here, via EEE OOO AH on December 11.