After surprising their fans Beyoncé style in early April with the release of their fifth album, Gonzo, Foxy Shazam is now headlining a tour and will be performing for the second time at the Bunbury Music Festival on Saturday.
Gonzo is “a state of mind, one that we’re currently in,” said bassist Daisy Caplan. The album was released as completely independent in April and is a slightly different musical route for the band. “We released it on our own because every record label we were on stopped existing,” said bassist Daisy Caplan. “Seemed like it was time to try something different.”
The influence of the Darkness’ John Hawkins is obviously not so much illustrated in this album as it did with their previous album, The Church of Rock and Roll, but with the help of audio engineer and legendary producer Steve Albani (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Neurosis, and Cloud Nothings) the team produced a stripped down, calmer side to the band.
“The actual album only took a few months to write and a week or so to record and mix,” said Caplan. “However, there was about 6 months before that of figuring out what kind of record we DIDN’T want to make.”
“Gonzo” is the first track off of the album which starts off with a crazy guitar riff, then the horns, and the beat comes in which gives the song a jazzy feel to it. Front man, Eric Nally, then comes in with his theatrical tone singing lines like, “I’m going gone gonzo.”
The next track, “Poem Pathetic” is another tune that is not as energetic as “Gonzo,” but still gives a groovy vibe. “Brutal Truth” is a track that will make long time Foxy fans want to listen to the album or at least this song. The song gives off the rock and roll vibe that reminds every Foxy fan of their previous work. The next track off of the album called “Tragic Thrill” is a rock song about identification with oneself.
“Have the Fun” is a slower rock tune where Nally illustrates his outrage by screaming lyrics like, “I’m not afraid to die because I’m already dead/ And I have fueled the fire and it's burning red/ I'm not scared to die 'cause I'm already dead/ I want to have the fun (fun)/ I want to have the fun fun fun fun.”
“Shoebox” is more of a mellow track that really illustrates the melodies between each instrument being played especially between trumpet player, Alex Nauth, pianist Sky White and Caplan’s bass playing. “Don’t Give In” kind of has that “Under Pressure” by Queen vibe in a sense with the beats and the mellow style of singing. “In This Life” is slow melodic tune about falling in love.
The last song on the album, “Story Told,” starts off as a slow ballad and then goes into this amazing chorus filled with guitar shredding, trumpet solos, and lyrics like “I’ve gone gonzo/ how pathetically poetic it was to spoon feed you the brutal truth/ riding on the tragic thrill/ still you gotta have the fun.” It is a perfect way to end the album.
Each song is different, but still has that distinctive Foxy sound to it. The band released the album on bandcamp for fans to download for free because it was easier financially and no distribution was involved. “All we had to pay for was recording, which we covered by playing some shows. Plus, giving stuff away for free is cool,” said Caplan.
With Bunbury coming up the band will be able to showcase not only their new material to the people of Cincinnati, but they will be performing some of their old material as well.
In the past, the band has toured with artists worldwide such as The Darkness and Panic at the Disco, but of course nothing beats headlining a tour and playing in your own city.
“It's always nice to see friendly faces at a show, and nothing has that like your hometown.”
Foxy Shazam is playing Bunbury Music Festival Saturday on the River Stage at 9pm!