Fozzy – Boombox

Boombox Album Cover Art

Fozzy – Boombox
Mascot Records
Release Date: 06/05/22
Running Time: 46:19
Review by Simon Black
8/10

For a band that started as a bit of fun from a chap who like covering Ozzy’s songs, Fozzy (geddit?) have really evolved into a credible and truly formidable Rock outfit. Annoyingly I’ve managed to miss most of their sets the last couple of times they’ve graced Bloodstock, but what I saw on the tail end of both was a band on fire, an audience mainlining energy and a natural born frontman in Chris Jerico loving every darned minute of it. The last time round I made the effort to get hold of a copy of “Judas”, and since then must confess to being something of a convert.

That energy and sensibility Jericho oozes on stage flows vibrantly and equally into the studio presentations and in that resepct “Boombox” picks up where “Judas” left off. This time round there’s a bit more Melodic Hard Rock sensibility, rather than the slightly more edgy and street feel of its predecessor, but it nevertheless manages to pack a considerable punch despite opting for a subtly more commercial feel. The reason for this is simple – punchy, effective and well-written songs convincingly delivered.

OK, the retro AOR ballad ‘Army Of One’ jars a little, as Fozzy are at their best when there’s a little danger in the mix – and this is way too radio safe, but that said its nice hearing Jericho singing that cleanly and reminds one just how much range he actually has. Tracks like the bouncing ‘Sane’, the more evenly paced but slab-like ‘Ugly On The Inside’ work because they have that distinctive Fozzy energy, but deliver it in measured slabs. Balancing this is a strong, reverb rich and fat 80’s production sound, which borders on the Synthwave. This becomes most extreme with the cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’, which despite a bit more double bass drumming is in no way a heavy version of the song at all. It’s a bit of a mis-fire to be fair and lets the overall flow of the record down somewhat.

Generally the songs balance between these two points, with the catchy bouncy and distinctive rhythms and riffs Fozzy deliver so well, counterpointed with a fat retro feel, with a little Modern Metal sensibility in there for good measure. With a few more like the more familiar style of ‘What Hell Is Like’ and ‘Omen’ in the mix, this would have sounded more traditionally like their back catalogue, but then after eight studio albums you need to mix things up a bit.

The album title is meant to evoke that fat sound of the 80’s and does it very well, as does the lavishly rich production sound, but for my money the more street and edgy feel of this album’s predecessor wins out. That said, the back end of the record is going to be what the established fans want to hear if they can just let the more commercial bits wash over them. Despite that, I suspect this album has the potential to win a way larger audience, which is no doubt exactly what it was intended to do. It’s still going to rip the audience a new one when played loud and live, so still works for my money.

‘Sane’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sane
02. I Still Burn
03. Purifier
04. Army Of One
05. Ugly On The Inside
06. Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)
07. Nowhere To Run
08. My Great Wall
09. What Hell Is Like
10. Omen
11. The Worst Is Yet To Come
12. The Vulture Club

LINE-UP:
Chris Jericho – Vocals
Rich Ward – Guitars, Vocals
Grant Brooks – Drums
Billy Grey – Guitars
PJ Farley – Bass

LINKS:

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