Hard Reviews 2
by Martin Popoff

Fozzy - Fozzy

I guess the point of this thing is for big rich wrestling guy Chris Jericho to play rock star, which he does very well thanks, wailing away in front of Stuck Mojo on a bunch of predictably pick '80s covers and two, bracing, invigorating originals. Nice packaging too, plus this halfheartedly supported mystery band charade, which is really quite funny, this tale about being held captive in Japan while all their excellent songs were stolen by evil metal bands and made famous. But one amused run-through and I was pretty well satiated, the collaboration coming off like perfect, crisp, sterile, exacting from both the band standpoint and Jericho's, who is a technically solid hard hair vocalist beneath his day job. But other than the moderately elaborate idea, and some nicely additional Suck Mojo Twin leads, pleasure and curiosity end quick. But maybe that's just me. I guess what it comes down to is threefold: a) does the idea of Chris Jericho making music excite you, perhaps given your patronage of wrestling?; b) does a Stuck Mojo covers album excite you? or; c) do really zippy, confident covers albums in general excite you?
Rating 7

UFO - Covenant

Not hearing this like Walk On Water, and not having all this talk from Peter and Phil about it being a return to any kind of roots. No, the consensus out there, and I concur, is that these songs are so basic, rootsy (but not to UFO's roots) and unlike Schenker, that they may as well be Mogg/Way. Covenant is modestly a grower, but it doesn't grow that far, these tracks in total lacking hooks, sparkle, colour... very strange, very linear, very disposable. It's like Michael is holding back his riffs, or is deliberately attempting to become a generalist everyman, 'cos teutonic Michael is gone. Luv the boys, and in a twisted, ironic, self-surprised way, I appreciate a raft of riffs like no other UFO barge, but man, those two or three standout tracks that made you want to Walk On Water, tracks that dragged you into the "brown" songs, those are missing. It's all brown here, maybe occasionally rich, dark brown, but definitely all brown.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 3