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Fozzy - Sin and Bones (Century Media Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[6.5/10] Can’t you picture a high school football team listening to Sin and Bones before the big game? Under the Friday night lights? High-fiving and head-butting one other, picking out which cheerleader they’re going to try to “score” with after the game thanks to everyone’s good friend alcohol? That kind of thing. And if you don’t know what we’re referring to, then a proper viewing of the cinematic classic Varsity Blues is the way to go. James Vanderbeek…dude ruled the late 90’s.

Fozzy, of course, is fronted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho who to his credit has a likeable, magnetic personality. And apparently, he’s a true-blue metalhead, although you wouldn’t know it by listening to the 10 songs of poppy hard rock that comprises Sin and Bones (the band’s fifth album). Jericho can sing marginally well (see the chorus for “Spiders In My Mouth” for his best moment), but he also lays down some really trite lyrics, most notably on “She’s My Addiction,” which is a poor attempt at making the connection between a woman and substance abuse.

Musically, Fozzy makes some inroads toward muscular metal on “Blood Happens,” which explains why it’s the album’s most enjoyable cut. The quasi-ballad “Inside My Head” and “A Passed Life” are competent numbers, however, neither of which will pose a threat to metal-dude-gone-soft benchmark “Nothing Else Matters.” The title track grinds along in groove metal fashion, buttressed by an Ozzy-like vocal yelp from Jericho, while the Black Label Society-infused “Shine Forever” and 14-minute “Storm the Beaches” make valid attempts at getting outside of the hard radio rock box.

Jericho is far from Fozzy’s weakest link; rather, he’s probably the main selling point for the band both musically and from a PR perspective. Still, Sin and Bones should be (and is) aimed directly at the commercial rock crowd, who occasionally, will be pursuant of heavier music. Then all the jocks can walk into school talking about how Fozzy is their “favorite metal band.”

 www.fozzyrock.com

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