Much to the delight of fans, Foxy Shazam have returned this year after a five-year hiatus with their sixth album, ‘Burn’.
Full of promise, the Ohio classic rock outfit were expected to come back with a bang. Yet, sadly, in keeping with the tone of 2020, the band’s first album through their own label, Eee Ooo Ah, turns out to be underwhelming at best.
As the opening notes of title-track introduce the album, there’s a tingling of excitement in the air. The album revs up with undeniable potential as we sit and wait impatiently for a tidal wave of colossal riffs and unabashed rock ‘n’ roll energy to smack them in the face and then, finally… well, nothing. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but there’s something missing. The track, and subsequently the rest of the album, falls flat, and it’s a real shame.
To give the album its due, it’s not without its moments. There are flashes of brilliance, such as the fun, funky ‘Doomed’ with its rolling drums and impressively fast-paced vocals, and the playful brass section in ‘In My Mind’. But, on the whole, ‘Burn’ feels like a tongue-in-cheek caricature of 80s glam rock and is more like something you’d hear on the ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ soundtrack than an album release in 2020.
Tracks such as ‘Dreamer’ and ‘Suffering’ would feel more at home among the likes of Aerosmith, Foreigner, and Boston than modern day artists, while even more contemporary numbers, such as ‘Into The Wild’ and ‘Rose’, still sound dated and fail to hit the mark of a 21st century release.
Foxy Shazam have been compared to theatrical Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and, yes, there is definitely a hint of that there, but Mercury had power, passion, and wasn’t afraid to go balls-to-the-wall, all-out, larger-than-life, with an overriding charisma that could make even the cheesiest of songs sound cool and catchy. It’s this special spark, the unique ability to spin a yarn, to take trash and turn it into treasure, that Foxy Shazam just don’t have in ‘Burn’.