Do You Wanna Start A War
Century Media Records
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Reviewed by: Jay Rybak
Before we start a war, I must start with a confession. FOZZY, the band fronted by WWE Superstar Chris Jericho and consisting of members of Stuck Mojo, is one of the rare bands that provokes a humble admission from this critic- I was late to the party! Let me explain; I was first introduced to the music of FOZZY back in 2010 (a mere 11 years after they got their start) when my friend Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall gave me a copy of the band’s 2010 album, Chasing The Grail. You see, it wasn’t that I hadn’t heard of them, it was rather more admittedly that because in 1999, when FOZZY first made their debut, the times were different. New music was much less accessible without plunking down $15 and not being sure what you were going to get, especially for a college kid without a pot to piss in who knew exactly what he was getting when he plunked down $15 for a case of beer. Call it misguided priorities, or simply call it being cheap. Whatever you wanna call it I missed the train back then, and thankfully 11 years later I had a friend reach out his hand and pull me on. Fast forward 4 years later and the ride continues with FOZZY‘s latest album, Do You Wanna Start A War, and the riders on this rock n’ roll locomotive won’t wanna get off.
The opening seconds of the album, and the air raid sirens of the title track almost serve as a warning; get ready because we’re about to launch an all out assault on your eardrums! The next track, “Bad Tattoo” showcases the guitar prowess of Rich Ward and Billy Grey backed by the killer double bass of Frank Fontsere, and is highlighted by a Zeppelin-esque bridge that would make Jimmy Page blush. Follow that up with the Ozzy-meets-Filter sound of the current single “Lights Go Out”, and we’re well on our way to one of FOZZY‘s best albums to date.
Now that they’ve gotten your attention, the boys throw us a curveball with the Sick Puppies sounding ballad “Died With You”, which shows Jericho‘s vocal range is much more than people give him credit for. Traveling even further outside the norm, comes the pleasant surprise that is “Tonight”. This upbeat rocker features a vintage 80’s sound with poppy overtones, so it should come as no surprise that they enlisted the vocals of Steel Panther’s Michael Starr to help out on this one.
Don’t let your guard down just yet, just around the corner is one of the highlights of the album in the form of the thrash rock face-melter “Brides Of Fire”. I’d love to know how many drum skins met their untimely death on this recording! Follow that up with yet another favorite in “One Crazed Anarchist”, Jericho‘s vocals backed by Ward‘s growling chorus put us right in that basement as the lunatic plots his evil plan. Yet another that is sure to set the circle pits into rotation.
Take 5 parts FOZZY and mix in one part Christie Cook, and what you get is “Unstoppable”. A catchy rocker that beckons comparisons to Halestorm, not simply because it features a female vocalist, but because it features a female vocalist with pipes on par with those of Lzzy Hale backed by a monster band with a catchy hook that leaves you begging for more. Bring on the doom and gloom of “Scarecrow”, perhaps the only dud on the album. Not that it’s a BAD song by any means, it’s just not a GREAT song in comparison to the rest of the album, not to mention it’s odd placement betwixt two high energy rockers. Fear not my friends, “No Good Way” picks up the energy with a Shinedown-meets-Godsmack reflection on life and death that is sure to be a staple at rock radio for years to come.
Nothing can prepare you for what happens next…“S.O.S.”… a cover song… originally done by… ABBA! I know you’re probably thinking “Fucking ABBA!?”, among other choice words, but there are two reasons to choose your words wisely: First, the song is an absolutely brilliant rendition that is in itself a perfect reason to own this album, and it is guaranteed to be a favorite by anyone with a pulse. Second, Chris Jericho can kick your ass! Finally to end the album, FOZZY get back to their roots with “Witchery”; a song that begs comparisons to early All That Remains and when it’s finished makes you put down that pinky finger, take your hand out of the air, and while keeping that index finger extended, press repeat!
All in all, Do You Wanna Start A War is a must own, and comes highly recommended!!! I waited WAY too long to get on the FOZZY train, don’t be like me! Head out to your local record store now (yes, they do still exist), or if you can’t wait click here and purchase the album! All Aboard!