Company: Century Media Release: 2014 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4.5 Reviewer: Eric Compton
This is a legitimate band
Damnit if Fozzy haven't created one of the sexiest songs in years with "When the Lights Go Out". Lyrically under the covers with lines like "The walls come down, we sound, just like animals" and "Blood-red pumps up against your body, beating like drums sucked in the fire". It is this kind of writing that makes new album, "Do You Wanna Start a War", proof in the pudding that Jericho and cohorts are comfortable in their own skin. This is the second consecutive album to feature the same line-up, validity that Fozzy are far, far removed from posturing under monikers like Mongoose McQueen and The Kidd. Like the previous effort, "Sin and Bones" (2012), this new entry combines modern hard rock and commercial appeal with metal's polished European style. "Bad Tattoo" is simplistic riffs that are superimposed over bad marriage woes. It's serious, but presented comically in the satirical Jericho style. "Died With You" is intelligent Shinedown, a tight fisted grip for radio play. "Scarecrow" paints a bleak harvest of empty fields and black birds through two verses before erupting into one of the catchiest chorus parts in years. "Oh scarecrow we need you back again, you've been gone for much too long" is layered over ascending strings that reminds me of how uplifting Boston could turn acoustic into huge electric melodies. It reverberates into bombastic grooves and the familiar one-word growls from Rich "The Duke" Ward. There is heavy, puissant offerings like "Witchery" and "Brides of Fire", both staunching the hard rock fluency of the record with plenty of aggression. The songs are countered by the soaring leads and twin guitar rhythm but built around Ward's grumblings and Jericho's quick banter. "Do You Wanna Start A War" is a remarkable album exhibiting the twists and turns of a band fifteen years of age. Jericho has referenced himself as "entertainer" to encompass his podcasting, acting, wrestling and music. I think Fozzy, combined with the experience of both Jericho and Century Media, have turned the corner and made this is a legitimate band with enough merit, skill and style to compete at any level.