Written by Alex Stojanovic
I Still Burn
Army Of One
Ugly On The Inside
Nowhere To Run
My Great Wall
What Hell Is Like
The Worst Is Yet To Come
The Vulture Club
Release Date: May 6, 2022
Label: Century Media Records
Chris Jericho - Vocals / Rich Ward - Lead guitars & backing vocals / Billy Grey - Rhythm guitars & backing vocals
P.J. Farley - Bass & backing vocals / Grant Brooks - Drums & backing vocals
For the longest time, Chris Jericho has described Fozzy as the bastard child of Journey and Metallica, because they have the metallic crunch and groove of Metallica, but also the melodic and accessible vibe of Journey. It's safe to say that the 2010s was the band's most successful decade as they have achieved three of their most successful singles in that decade with "Sandpaper" from Sin & Bones, "Lights Go Out" from Do You Wanna Start A War, and the title track from Judas, letting people know that Fozzy is not just a side hobby for a professional wrestler, but that they mean business. Judas elevated the band's presence and gave the band some of the best streaming numbers radio airplay charting positions of their career. Now, that begs the question: how does the new album Boombox live up to its predecessor? Well, let's dive in and find out.
First off, what's noticeable is that it doesn't deviate too far from where Judas left off. The heavy riffing combined with the huge pop hooks is a recipe for great-sounding songs that people can relate to. For proof, see songs like "Sane", "I Still Burn", "Purifier" and "Nowhere To Run". The problem with a lot of metal fans who are into the heavier and technical side of things is that they look down upon simpler and more melodic material, and see as listening to or liking that style as an insult to their intelligence or macho personality. It's so laughable because you can guaranteed that they're cranking this type of rock and metal behind closed doors. There's no way that you can hear a hook as big as on "Purifier" and "Nowhere To Run" and not start head-bobbing or toe-tapping, whether you like this music or not.
"Army Of One" is a track whose lyrics is sure to connect with a lot of people where it talks about battling your way through life with adversities, naysayers and such, and often being on your own while doing so. One thing that we can appreciate Fozzy doing is stepping out of the typical rocker's comfort zone when it comes to cover songs. On Do You Wanna Start A War, they included a cover of ABBA's "SOS", and on Boombox, they decided to go back down the Britpop route, and do a revved up version of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood classic: "Relax". However, aside from crunchy guitars, the cover is relatively true to form. It would've been a more interesting cover if they went completely off the arrangement and put a different spin on it.
The problem with Boombox is that aside from certain tracks, all the others kind of lack the ability to hold your attention because they all tend to mirror each other to an extent. This is more-so the case with most of the second half of the record, with "Nowhere To Run" being the exception. The other issue is that Chris Jericho's vocals are effected to death. A small amount of effects on vocals is not that big of an issue, but when vocals are smothered in effects, they lose their authenticity. For its flaws, Boombox has its memorable tracks, but its the furthest thing from an amazing rock album.