Record Label: Century Media
Release Date: Out Now
Chris Jericho – Vocals
Rich Ward – Guitar/Vocals
Billy Grey – Guitar
Paul De Leo (on the album)/Jeff Rouse (current) – Bass
Frank Fontsere – Drums
1.Do You Want To Start A War
3.Lights Go Out
4.Died With You
6.Brides Of Fire
7.One Crazed Anarchist
10.No Good Way
Initially formed by ex-Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward as a covers band with a fluid line-up, Fozzy became a more solid band when pro-wrestler Chris Jericho joined and a debut album of mostly covers was released. The follow-up was more of the same but by the third album they were writing all original material and starting to be taken more seriously. “Do You Want To Start A War” is their sixth studio album and has been out for a while but slipped past me last year, so with a UK tour booked for March this seems a good time to give it a listen.
I’ll nail my colours to the mast right now – I absolutely love this album! From the start of the first track this album never fails to impress, so much so that I really didn’t want to review it because then I’d have to stop listening to it and move on to the next release. Whatever sort of mood that you’re in, this album had a track to suit it, whether it’s the ‘standard’ rock of the title track with its great hook to the chorus that will have you singing along for days or the next track, “Bad Tattoo” if you’re after something heavier with it’s simple but effective riff while still retaining a great melody to the vocal lines.
This is an album of surprises in many ways and that is one of the best things about hearing it for the first time – you seriously just don’t know what is going to come next from one track to the next. I don’t want to spoil some of those surprises so I will have to be careful what I say. One such surprise to people unfamiliar with the band might well be that Chris Jericho can actually sing! He’s not just in the band as a gimmick or as a great frontman his singing is very good and he has a great range of different types of sounds he can utilise too. On “Lights Go Out” for example, during the chorus there is more than a hint of Ozzy about his style but on “Witchery” his voice reminded me of Andy Biersack from Black Veil Brides, as did the music so I doubt that was a coincidence.
“Died With You” is actually a bit of a departure from the rest of the album and is a really good modern sounding rock ballad with some of the best vocals on the album. “Tonight” is basically just a bit of fun and would have gone down a storm in 1985, right down to the guitar sound, so again this is a deliberate move. The guest appearance by Steel Panther’s Michael Starr fits the feel of the song perfectly too – I bet this was a load of fun to record.
“Brides Of Fire” is a total change to the last track, being one of the heaviest on the album with some storming drumming from Frank Fontsere. The track also features a brilliant guitar solo and it is only at this point that I realised that not all the tracks even have an instrumental break at all, they are that well written. The guitar work throughout the album is really effective, in fact, with some of the heavier tracks having a sound similar to some of Rich Ward’s work with Stuck Mojo. Not surprising perhaps but he shows his versatility by producing other tunes here that are completely different – certainly he is a man with many strings to his bow.
If you are an existing fan of Fozzy and don’t have this album yet, then get it because you will love it. If you haven’t heard the band yet then just pick any song and give it a listen as there’s a very good chance you will like it. I recommend this album with no hesitation and suggest you get it as soon as possible then you can hear for yourself why it made my Top 5 albums of 2014 list. With a reputation of being a great live act, I for one am certainly looking forward to the March tour. See you down the front!
Written by Duncan Everson