American heavy rock outfit Fozzy have returned to action recently and despite their latest single ‘Judas’ being out in the ether for a few weeks, there’s no better time to stop and take a look at exactly what it is Fozzy are up to right now, and see why it is that social media and the online world are going crazy for this brand new track.
Now of course anybody who’s anybody knows that Fozzy’s lead vocalist Chris Jericho is one of the biggest names in WWE and professional wrestling and has been for the past 15 years plus, so there’s always that subliminal promotion for the band and it’s one of the most ingenious double marketing strategies in history as Jericho flips from being one of the most accomplished, decorated and well known sports entertainers of all time to being a fully fledged rock superstar, and he does it seamlessly, and maintains fan bases both exclusively to one project and both of them, widening their scope all the time. This aside, Fozzy are heading for their seventh studio album and are in the midst of a tour of the US as we speak, continuing an impressive career that has spanned almost two decades, and at the same time, they seem to be improving with every album. ‘Judas’ is the latest single release from the five piece and if you haven’t heard it played on the promotional clips as the theme for NXT’s Takeover Chicago show this Saturday, then perhaps you may be responsible for one of the almost two and a half million views on YouTube that the music video has managed to achieve since the 3rd of May. So sure, there’s some pretty impressive exposure and advertising points working in their favour here, but musically, why is ‘Judas’ so loved?
Well, immediately it’s evident that the style of rock that Fozzy specialise in has the power to feel modern but like an 80s heavy metal throwback too, all at the same time. It’s glam, and it’s loud and it’s in your face but it’s fresh and it’s exciting as well. In keeping with the wrestling theme it takes me straight back to my youth where the WWE was synonymous with bands like Creed, Saliva and Disturbed. It’s that brand of metal with the incredible vocal ranges, fantastical lyrics and insane guitar licks. It’s a crazy cocktail that feels brand new but can’t help but raise nostalgia. There’s certainly room for comparisons with other classic rock bands here and as mentioned, there’s serious musical talent within the band too, and Jericho’s vocal style remind us immediately of Ozzy Osbourne or an early Robert Plant. There’s elements of multiple classic bands within Fozzy and what’s great about that is that you rarely see this from a US band. Western bands tend to follow trends and adapt styles to what’s progressive and popular at the time, whilst putting their stamp on it. Rock like this I’d normally associate with Scandinavia and I’m a huge fan of it to. So a seventh album sounds like an intriguing prospect and it’ll certainly be one of the more interesting albums you’ll purchase this year when it finally drops, but for now, just enjoy ‘Judas’.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)