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Album Reviews : Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start A War

By on July 25, 2014

“Do You Wanna Start A War?” by Fozzy is playing in my room through my Alesis monitors. The sound is abrasive, piercing, and cheesy. Either my ears are ringing, or Chris “Y2J” Jericho is slamming me with an aural Lionsault in the form of high pitched cock rock vocals and love songs.

And yet… I can’t seem to turn it off. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. Actually, this album is a LOT of fun and I think I’m going to turn up the volume! Ringing ears be damned!

I’d never taken the time to actually listen to this band critically and take them seriously before, I must admit. I’d heard Fozzy before inadvertently, and I remember thinking “this is exactly what I expected it to be, but is that such a bad thing?” I’d walked past them inadvertently during their performance at Soundwave 2013, and I remember thinking the same thing.

After further investigation, as well as a thorough and respectful listening through of their soon-to-be-released full-length, I pretty much feel the same way. It’s exactly what I expected it to be, but is that such a bad thing?

The vocals are over the top, consistently high pitched, and considerably 80s. The production is glossy. Very glossy – when I hear those riffs and that natural amp tone, I just picture hairspray, lace, and herpes. The songwriting is bubblegum most of the time, some songs (such as the opening track) featuring some dubstep-reminiscent layering that I expect will be controversial. Everything is very “college fraternity” – I kind of feel like I’m listening to the NFL if that makes any sense – and honestly a small fraction of it borders on total unlistenability. “Tonight” would be right at home as the opening song of a show like “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, if you can bring yourself to digest that reality. “No one can stop us now, ‘cos tonight we own this town.” When you read that lyric it seems badass enough, but don’t be fooled, it sounds like Disney and pink plastic shoes.

Having said all that though, this album is fun from beginning to end, energetic, and occasionally the listener is even treated to a kick ass sleaze-groove riff or two! Most importantly however, if you’re a fan of Fozzy, it goes without saying that you’re not anticipating that this release will feature brutal death growls, lyrics about murder, and tremolo guitars. Once you know that Chris Jericho is fronting the band, you can pretty much expect a larger-than-life sound to mirror his larger-than-life wrestling persona. Once you’ve heard Fozzy, you know what they’re all about.

Let’s be honest for a second, what’s wrong with a little cheese? We love it on our pizza and in our cheeseburgers, so it’s only natural that a part of us loves it in our ears. This album delivers just the right dosage in a way that’s totally appropriate for its sound, and technically these guys completely nail what they do. Chris Jericho’s vocals are certainly cheesy, but the man can belt it out like the best of them! Albums that sound like this only work when you can hear the joy that the musicians felt during the process, and that is absolutely present here. It’s a nice bonus that occasionally, on songs like “Unstoppable” and “Bad Tattoo” to name a couple, a decently heavy and groovy riff will pop its head up like a stray whac-a-mole. The album flows from song to song in a very well-paced manner, and as a listening experience overall everything is in its rightful place. Ahhh, delicious well executed guilty-pleasure feel-good cheese!

Band: Fozzy
Album: Do You Wanna Start A War?
Year: 2014
Genre: Heavy metal/hard rock
Label: Century Media
Origin: USA

Tracklisting:
1. Do You Wanna Start A War?
2. Bad Tattoo
3. Lights Go Out
4. Died With You
5. Tonight (ft. Michael Starr)
6. Brides of Fire
7. One Crazed Anarchist
8. Unstoppable (ft. Christie Cook)
9. Scarecrow
10. No Good Way
11. S.O.S. (ABBA cover)
12. Witchery

About

Chad is a musician/producer from Melbourne. He has been playing guitar for 10+ years now, and currently plays in the progressive metal band Conjurer. Check out Chad's blog, and for professional inquiries, follow him on LinkedIn.