Guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) and pro wrestler Chris Jericho have been friends for many years. The pair’s friendship goes back to the days of Jericho’s tenure on the now defunct WCW. So it came as not too big of a surprise that the pair’s friendship would eventually lead to the creation of Fozzy in the late 90s. What has come as a surprise is the success that the band has enjoyed since the release of its self-titled debut back in 2000. That album was pure covers. And the use of faux names for the band members made Fozzy appear as little more than a one-off Spinal Tap style project put together by the two friends. Little would anybody know that almost fourteen years after the release of that album, Fozzy would go on to release four more albums each one separating the band even more from its semi-satirical cover band roots. Now in 2014, the band has released its fifth full length studio album titled Do You Wanna Start A War. And it is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band and then some. Whereas the band’s previous albums were full on hard rock opuses, this album maintains more of a balance between that hard rock sound and a more mainstream feel. It’s almost as if the members of Fozzy have finally found that “happy, familiar place” on this record. The end result is a record that offers plenty for audiences in both the rock and hard rock realms of the music industry. On the hard rock side, audiences have already been offered up a solid slab of hard rock in the form of the album’s lead single, ‘One Crazed Anarchist.’ This song is sure to impress fans of both Fozzy and Ward’s other primary project, Stuck Mojo. On the more mainstream, radio ready side of things, the band offers a heavy yet uplifting piece in the form of ‘Unstoppable.’ And in the completely radio ready realm, the band offers up the up-tempo yet happy-go-lucky style ‘Tonight.’ These are just a few examples of why Fozzy remains a fan favorite nearly fourteen years after its debut record’s release. Each of the album’s remaining nine songs plays its own role in the overall enjoyment of this record. And together with the trio of songs noted here, all twelve tracks on this record collectively make it an album that is sure to impress Fozzy’s fans new and old alike.
Fozzy first built the hype over its new album early this spring with the release of ‘One Crazed Anarchist,’ the lead single from its new album. There is quite a bit to note concerning this song that makes it work. Musically speaking, audiences that are familiar with the work of Rich Ward and fellow Stuck Mojo band mate Frank Fontsere will instantly hear the influence of the pair’s work with that band in this song. Front man Chris Jericho’s vocals are just as powerful as he sings about quite a disturbed individual, singing, “One crazed anarchist/He’s ready to blow/Grenade in his pocket and he’s ready to blow/Finger on the trigger/And he’s waiting to pull/It’s time to deliver and his docket is full.” The song’s chorus seems to hint at how said individual became what he become as Jericho sings, “How did my love just fade away/Faith and hope/Have gone astray/I can’t run away from the beast/Rip the scab/And set it free/It’s the killer in me.” Of course, he’s speaking metaphorically about “running from the beast.” It almost hints at someone that has become an extremist of sorts as a result of having lost everything both physically and emotionally. Keeping that in mind, it makes the song an even harder hitting piece coming at it from a lyrical angle. Add in the songs steady crunching guitar line underneath Ward’s primary guitar part and an even deeper emotional impact is created. One should take into account, too Jericho’s own vocal delivery. He does quite the job of interpreting the subject’s seeming emotional and psychological state as he sings about the unnamed man. This serves to make ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ one of the best examples of how much Fozzy has grown over the course of its life. Audiences can check out the songs video now online via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9aKjbRIJ_k. Just as much of an example of the band’s growth, is the still heavy yet uplifting song ‘Unstoppable.’
‘Unstoppable’ is another example of the growth on Do You Wanna Start A War because while it is a rather heavy song in its own right, it also presents a positive message. That message is one of self-determination. The band brought in guest singer Christie Cook for this song. Her vocals are just as powerful as Jericho’s. But there’s something that just makes it all perfectly fit here as she sings in the song’s chorus, “You’ll never break me/I’m unstoppable/You’ll never shake me/I’m unstoppable.” Perhaps it is that certain grittiness in her voice that makes it work. It’s almost a mix of Lita Ford and Joan Jett, if one can envision such a hybrid sound. And just as ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ bears its own similarity to Stuck Mojo’s sound, so does this song bear a certain similarity to Stuck Mojo’s ‘Invincble.’ That song in question comes from Stuck Mojo’s most recent release, 2009’s The Great Revival. One can almost see her on stage with the band, pumping her fist in time with the audience as she sings, “I do just what I want to/Because I know it’s right/Don’t tell me I can’t make it/Won’t down without a fight/Away from my past/Because in my eyes/I can do anything/Now watch me rise.” This is such an anthemic song. It is the kind of piece that could easily inspire people in so many situations. That ability to so easily inspire audiences combined with such a heavy sound make this song one more of this album’s examples of how much Fozzy has grown throughout the years.
Fozzy’s new record shows so much growth from the band. That’s already been evidenced in both the album’s lead single ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ and the driving, uplifting ‘Unstoppable.’ There is at least one more example on this record of just how much Fozzy has come since its earliest days. That example is a song that is perhaps the album’s most mainstream song of all—‘Tonight.’ If ever there was a song that could be used as a radio single it is this song. Jericho and his band mates sing in this arena anthem, “This is our last chance/To show the world/Jus what we’re made of/We’ll bring this town to its knees/And then/We’ll take our chance to shine/Take our chance to fly(and stage our battlecry)/Take our chance to shine/Take our chance to fly (it’s time).” That positive vibe runs throughout the course of the song. It offers that same sort of inspiration as ‘Unstoppable’ that is sure to uplift audiences and entertain them at the same time. It is one more example, as audiences will hear, of how much this band has grown from little more than a novelty cover band to a serious musical group. And as audiences will hear from the album’s other songs, those songs along with the pieces noted here exhibit that growth even more.
Do You Wanna Start A War is available now in stores. Audiences can currently pick it up at Best Buy and get a free Fozzy bandana with purchase. Fans can also pick up the album at any of the band’s live shows. The band is currently touring alongside Theory of a Deadman in support of its new album and will be in Syracuse, NY next Friday, August 2nd at the Chevrolet Court. The band also has a performance scheduled at the famed Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, September 24th. The band’s current tour schedule and all of the latest news and updates from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock and http://www.fozzyrock.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.