DO YOU WANNA START A WAR
All the stars are aligned for me to be an absolute worshipper of Fozzy. And yet, I'm just not. It's not that I don't want to be. I'm a huge fan of the WWE, which is where Chris Jericho calls home professionally at least part of the time. To that fact, I'm a fan of Chris Jericho in wrestling, as his in ring mic skills and his wrestling ability are far better than 9 of every 10 people in the sports entertainment world. Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward is one of my favorite guitarists of all time. I was always a gigantic supporter of his band Stuck Mojo, and his solo release (The Duke - MY KUNG FU IS GOOD) never goes more than a month without me rockin' out to it. Drummer Frank Fontsere also comes from Stuck Mojo, and I truly enjoyed hanging with him and Rich on many occasions outside in their camper at Ron's Crossroads in Akron before they played gigs there. And yet, for whatever reason, Fozzy releases disc after disc that just don't do it for me.
DO YOU WANNA START A WAR is yet more proof of that. As much as I truly want to like it and be moved by it's music, the truth is that it's a fairly boring, plodding release that continually finds my mind wandering elsewhere only a few tracks in. That's not to say that it's bad, per se. It's just dull. Songs like "One Crazed Anarchist" have compelling features (specifically the crunchy rhythms from Ward), but the leadup to the chorus with Jericho just loses the momentum. It's very radio sterile in parts, and that's a problem. Certainly Ward's death metal-like barking he's used for years to counter whatever singer he's been in a band with is solid, but the music here isn't strong enough to support it.
Again, I'm not saying there's anything at all "bad". Certainly, this is not on the level of Lynch Mob's SMOKE THIS or anything recorded by Bret Michaels, but there's just very few moments where Fozzy keeps the interest throughout a full song. There's a couple of good ones though. "Brides Of Fire" is a pretty solid effort where it all seems to click for the band. Surprisingly good is the band's cover of Abba's "SOS", which given the environment of modern rock radio and it's propensity to latch onto unlikely covers (Seether's "Careless Whisper" and Five Finger Death Punch's "Bad Company" come to mind), could easily find some success in that medium. The rest of the songs are OK, but just seem to fall flat without having whatever that special sound is that takes it above the fray. "Tonight" is a prime example. This poppy number, which features Steel Panther's Michael Starr, is very played out sounding and dull.
PITRIFF - 60/100 - I wish there was more to say about this, but it's just a flat release from a band that's prone to doing that. Is it terrible? No, not at all. But if you aren't already a fan of Fozzy, this won't turn you. If you are a fan, this is certainly a step backwards from SIN AND BONES or CHASING THE GRAIL. I know Chris Jericho believes he can be a two time superstar, but it's just not going to happen with DO YOU WANNA START A WAR. As a metalhead, this is little more than background music.