Refugees from Cincinnati’s hardcore scene, Foxy Shazam are an explosive prospect live. An electrifying car-crash carnival fronted by androgynous dandy Eric Sean Nally, a dead ringer for The Mighty Boosh’s Noel Fielding, they have grasped an immutable pop truth: the greatest performers, from Little Richard and Mick Jagger to Prince and Lady Gaga, have always been cock-rocking, peacocking, gender-blurring freaks just a whisker away from preposterous self-parody. The challenge on this third album, their major label debut, was to translate this riotous showmanship to record.
Foxy Shazam: Foxy Shazam
Ohio glamsters funk it right up.
Thankfully, they have mostly succeeded. Nally cites Evel Knievel, Iggy Pop and Bruce Springsteen as key influences, and the spirit of The Boss is clearly present on roaring rock’n’soul anthems like Bombs Away and Wanna-Be Angel, which blast along on rubber- burning powers chords and revved-up saloon-bar piano.
The album climaxes, almost literally, with the The Only Way to My Heart, a libidinous blues-rock clamour with all the raunchy swagger of Shirley Bassey produced by Jim Steinman.
But what saves Foxy Shazam from lapsing into lame Darkness-style burlesque is their winning marriage of catchy pop hooks with sheer visceral punch. Mashing up gospel with glam rock, funk with punk, they are smart enough to clothe their overwrought melodrama in sassy feelgood tunes.