Fozzy (Megaforce) 2000
1. "Stand up and Shout"
Fozzy is a bizarre, yet amusing concept. The story goes that Fozzy is a legendary American metal band who, unable to get out of their 20-year Japanese record contract, spent 20 years in Japan where they were mega-stars; when they finally return to the U.S. they find that artists like the the Scorpions, Dio, Judas Priest, Krokus, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne had become stars by stealing Fozzy's material. The liner notes alone are enough to bust a gut laughing. "It's very rare for a rock band to have an effect so large that they became an influence on an entire country. The list is short, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and of course Fozzy." Everything right down to the photos and thank you lists have this pseudo supergroup mentality and are all quite funny. In reality, however, Fozzy is fronted by WWF wrestler Chris Jericho, with the remainder of the group consisting of Atlanta rap-metal outfit Stuck Mojo, at least on this first album. The band cranks out eight decent cover songs which for the most part are well played and certainly well recorded. The band achieves great guitar tones throughout. I'm honestly not sure if the whole thing was to be a tribute to the great 80's metal bands or a joke, but either way, the covers are a fun listen. So what Fozzy may have been was just an excuse for this rap-metal band to play songs by their favorite 80's bands. What is also quite amazing are how the two original songs, "Feel the Burn" and "End of Days," fit in so well with the eight metal classics. Of course these two tracks aren't as familiar as the rest but the same heavy metal anthem songwriting and musical skill are in place. Here's hoping that the band's next disc will be a serious effort of music like those two tracks.
Fozzy - Happenstance (Megaforce Records) 2002
1. "Whitechapel 1888"
I realize that this band is suppose to be a joke of Spinal Tap proportions, but I still really dig their music. On this CD, I think I like their own songs better than I like their covers. Especially like "To Kill a Stranger" and "Crucify Yourself" which features some killer vocals by Mongoose McQueen (aka: Chris Jerico) Of the covers, "Where Eagles Dare" and "Balls to the Wall" are my favorites. Chris' voice fits nicely in these songs, whereas "L.O.V.E. Machine" seems a bit empty without the mightly lungs of Blackie Lawless behined the music. Still not sure which album I like better between the band's first two, but with this one having four decent to excellent originals, it may prove over time to be the winner. "Freewheel Burning"is a Judas Priest cover, "The Mob Rules"is a Black Sabbath cover, "Big City Nights" is a Scorpions cover, "L.O.V.E. Machine" is a W.A.S.P. cover, "Balls to the Wall" is an Accept cover, and "Where Eagles Dare" is an Iron Maiden cover.
After two albums using their alter-ego names and playing mostly covers, Fozzy returns with their third album. With the release of "All that Remains" the band drops the alter-egos, gets rid of the wigs and even drops all the cover songs. I am of the opinion that the original songs on the first 2 Fozzy albums were great. So, it was with great anticipation that I awaited this CD. Well unlike those songs, "All that Remains" features "not-so-traditional" metal arrangements. This was a bit disappointing to me. While I realize that some of their early material was meant as a sort of tribute and also meant to be humorous, I also quite liked the traditional heavy metal songwriting. What we have here are more modern, rock radio-oriented guitar riffs, disappointing songs, rapping and guest stars that don't seem to put forth their best effort. (Marty Friedman and Zakk Wylde are each featured on a song on this CD.) The worst song on this album is not surprisingly "It's a Lie" featuring Bonecrusher. The rest of the songs are enjoyable and will probably become more enjoyable with repeated listens. However, it's just such a shame that nothing on this CD is quite as good as songs like "To Kill a Stranger" and "Crucify Yourself" from Happenstance.