The self-appointed "Evel Knievel of Rock and Roll", Foxy Shazam is an American rock band from Cincinatti, Ohio identified primarily by over-the-top lyrics and a bombastic, theatrical stage presence best exemplified by totally fucking insane frontman Eric Nally, who is know for antics such as delivering grandiose monologues inbetween songs, pausing mid-lyric to drop to the ground and do pushups, and devouring handfuls of the audience's lit cigarettes.
Formed in 2003 under the name "Train of Thought", the band later changed their name to "Foxy Shazam!" and released their debut album in 2005, The Flamingo Trigger, a distinctively eclectic mix of baroque piano ballads, aggresive post-hardcore screaming about pissing in buttholes, and the occasional merry-go-round organ break. This would prove vastly different from their future work, but is still a remarkably entertaining album in its own right.
The band signed to independent record label Ferret Music and released Introducing Foxy Shazam in 2008. The album saw Foxy shedding their exclamation point along with their post-hardcore sensibilities (mostly) but keeping the piano and batshit theatrics to create a rock album as maniacally energetic as it is difficult to pin down categorically, and surely one of their best efforts.
The band jumped over to Sire Records in 2010 and released their self-titled third album, this time totally changing gears to a more pop rock sound. it was at this point that the band got a bit of exposure with their single "Unstoppable" being used in a few trailers and at none other than Super Bowl XLIV, though bassist Daisy Caplan later recalled that it didn't have a monumental effect on their popularity- "Mostly just people who already knew us were like 'What?'"
In 2012 the band signed to IRS Records and released The Church of Rock and Roll, which, mainly due to the influence of The Darkness's Justin Hawkins as a producer and co-songwriter, took on a sound that was so British it could easily pass a Queen album with more Soul textures. the song I Like It blew up and became their highest charting single to date, peaking at #5 on the Mainstream Rock Charts.
After jumping between three different record labels, the band decided to go independent once more and release their fifth album, Gonzo, online for free. The album was yet another drastic departure from all of their previous work, axing the densely layered studio production and going for more of a lo-fi guerilla style where all of the songs were recorded with all of the band members in the same room at the same time, and usually on the first take, to emphasize songwriting over flair. the sound became more alternative and the lyrics became much less bombastic but not any less... weird.
Sadly, the band announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus in 2015 and each member left to pursue their own projects, with Nally teasing a possible solo album. Luckily though, with Nally having delivered a show-stealing guest performance in Macklemore's "Downtown" and Foxy retroactively garnering interest as a result, the band might have a significantly large fanbase waiting for them when they get back.
Current Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic:)
- Eric Sean Nally - vocals (2004-2015)
- Loren Turner - guitars (2004-2015)
- Daisy Caplan - bass (2006-2015)
- Sky White - keyboards (2004-2015)
- Alex Nauth - horns/backing vocals (2009-2015)
- Aaron McVeigh - drums (2009-2015)
- Skylyn Ohlenkamp - bass (2004-2006)
- John Sims - drums (2004-2006)
- Joseph Allen Haberstadt - drums (2006-2009)
- 2005 - The Flamingo Trigger
- 2008 - Introducing Foxy Shazam
- 2010 - Foxy Shazam
- 2012 - The Church of Rock and Roll
- 2014 - Gonzo
This band contains examples of:
- Audience Monologue: Eric Nally will bridge the gaps between songs with over-the-top monologues, usually designating specific monologues to certain songs, such as telling a story about an encounter with a voluptuous black woman at an airport before performances of "I Like It".
- Badass Boast: During an Introducing-era live show Nally once uttered "20 bucks says nobody here can kill me! I'll get to you before you can get to me!"
I thought you said I never could, well I did
- Introducing-era lyrics were full of this. In addition to repeated shoutings of "I'm a dangerous man", "A Dangerous Man" has:
I did it right in front of your face
- from "Introducing Foxy":
- Badass Beard: Sky White.
- Badass Mustache: Eric Nally tenfold.
- Beast and Beauty: "The French Passion of Animality Opera" seems to tell some kind of story involving this.
- Big "YES!": "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
- Careful with That Axe / Harsh Vocals: Early Foxy was full of this. For having such a beautiful voice, Nally could really belt it out. Highlights include "October Surf Suitcase Fish", where he sounds like he's vomiting out all of his internal organs, and "(Untitled)", a soothing instrumental piano ballad over which Nally sounds like someone's suffocating him with a pillow. Though becoming more pop meant that they significantly dialed back on this, a scream or two still ends up sneaking into their later work, most notably (and hilariously) towards the beginning of "Intro\Bombs Away".
- Creepy Circus Music: The Flamingo Trigger has this sort of feel on a couple of songs, such as the bridges of both "The French Passion of Animality Opera" and "October Surf Suitcase Fish".
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: "Yes! Yes! Yes!" has "I'll rip your heart out and I'll eat it whole."
- Filk Song: "A Dangerous Man" is said to be meant for the soundtrack of a Robin Hood film.
- Glam Rock: The band has often been described as this, especially given their flamboyant, theatrical side.
- I Am the Band: Subverted. Nally definitely gets the most attention out of all the band members and is the only member to appear on any of their album covers. Though this would lead most to believe that he is the principal songwriter, in reality the songwriting process is usually a collaboration between all of the band members.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: You can probably imagine it's hard to understand what Nally is saying when he sounds like he's being disembowled. With songs like "NO. Don't Shoot" you wouldn't even know that some of the noises Nally is making are even words until you read the lyrics. Even after Foxy dropped Post-Hardcore altogether, Nally's strange singing style still causes a bit of lyrical confusion at times.
- Large Ham: Eric Nally might be the largest ham in recent rock history.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: See New Sound Album below- Foxy's covered a lot of ground.
- New Sound Album: Every album.
- The Flamingo Trigger could be described as "Hardcore Baroque."
- Introducing mostly throws away the Post-Hardcore in favor of what could be described as "The Dresden Dolls if they had an obliquely Surf Punk-tinged guitar and bass section."
- Foxy Shazam began the group's foray into more mainstream Pop Rock, mixing in dabs of Soul.
- The Church of Rock and Roll had a distinct British Rock sound thanks to collaborator Justin Hawkins, mixing the Soul with driving guitar riffs and densely layered vocal harmonies.
- Gonzo was a more subdued Alternative Rock effort focusing more on horns and a lo-fi guerilla sound.
- Refuge in Audacity: There's something that feels tongue-in-cheek about all the horrible silly screaming noises Nally makes on The Flamingo Trigger. Lyrically though, most notable is "Aroma of You", which contains the lyrics "How 'bout I piss in your butthole?"
- Self-Titled Album: Their third album.
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "I Like It". guess what "it" is.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: in early songs Nally would quite often switch from singing normally to shouting at the top of his lungs. Arguably used most effectively in "October Surf Suitcase Fish", which is otherwise a soft piano ballad up until the chorus and the bridge.I left my feelings on the side of the road,
Thank god they never caught up, I'd-a lost the COOOOOONTRAAAAAAACCCTTT
- Triumphant Reprise: "Intro\Bombs Away" almost sounds like one of these to "Shadow of a Shoulder Parrot" five years later. both songs share the "bombs away" refrain.
- Word Salad Title: The Flamingo Trigger and almost every song on it.
- Hell, even the band's name itself could count.