Label: Sire Records Release date: 27/09/10 Link: MySpace Ten years ago (blimey!), I was obsessed with boys in baggy Criminal Damage jeans and bands with horn sections. Along with half of Middlesbrough, it would seem, since the ska section in our local Music Zone (RIP) was both well-stocked and impossible to get near for teens with patchy dye jobs determinedly clutching their [spunge] CDs. So on first listen of Foxy Shazam's 'Oh Lord', hearing the first whine of trombones in the opening bars, with a messy percussive rattle and whisper underneath, the 13 year old in me immediately began to get excited. And swiftly thereafter, rather baffled, as the horns slid into a louche, untidy cadence and howl of guitar feedback and stepped aside to allow the driving piano line and Eric Sean Nally's flamboyant vocals to take centre stage. By the time the track ends, we've somehow made the journey from immaculately-horned ska romp, via a keys fuelled power ballad with definite echoes of Freddie Mercury in the vocal delivery, to some crunching guitar parts that assures me squeal of post-hardcore and an evangelical falsetto chorus Justin Hawkins could only dream of composing. In the last final bars, an acapella gospel-sounding choir of voices murmur the main riff, allowing the listener to catch their breath and wonder exactly what that four minutes of ridiculousness was. Nally is a showman, and the Foxy Shazam show is mostly about him. With echoes of, but ultimately more self-consciously bonkers than Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hütz, he postures and lunges his way through this confusingly brilliant single. Such ego driven stuff can teeter dangerously on the self-indulgent, but somehow he avoids taking himself at all seriously and we're steered firmly clear of this territory and end up distracted and thoroughly endeared by his cute son, Julian, to whom the song is addressed, and who stars alongside his dad in the video. There will always be a war somewhere to fight, and Foxy Shazam probably have their work cut out for them in winning over a generation of music fans who consider trying this hard and displaying such a lack of restraint and humility, well, a bit uncool. But this single is brilliantly crafted, charming and bloody good fun, and a band that gets bottled by Lostprophets fans is definitely good news to me. Photobucket