Formosa – Sorry For Being Sexy
Label: Sweepland Records
Date: March 2, 2018
There’s been a while since I wrote my last album review, and I truly got an interesting piece to get me back on track. The ones responsible call themselves Formosa, a power trio based in Essen, Germany. Their motto is to turn everything sexy, and that explains why their debut album is called “Sorry For Being Sexy.” Well guys, Metal Jacket Magazine is not sorry to write about your first release. As a matter of fact, we’re glad that we can take your MJM review virginity. So, let’s gently touch the “Play” button and see if we’ll like what we hear.
For the start of a self-proclaimed sexy album, the song “Bad Boys” really hits it off with a simple and catchy guitar riff, which then leads to a smooth, Motley Crue sounding number. Practically without a pause the album continues with “Manana”, a sound that pretty much sounds the same as “Bad Boys”, but with a more upbeat tempo. The first two songs are a wisely placed interlude to the third one, which is truly a treat for all the naughty bastards out there. Wonder why? “Sorry For Being Sexy” justifies the album title track completely. It reminds me of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” but with an obvious oriental melody planted into it, and that just kicks major ass! Furthermore, the lyrics are the definition of a non-censored jump from mediocrity and politeness. Pure gold! Also, it’s interesting how the aforementioned title track turns Formosa’s expression to a totally new level by making them sound like a typical English rock band (lyrics and sound included). Okay, now enough with the third one, I must move on to the next track or I’ll end up in an endless loop of apologizing for being sexy.
Just as you might assume, being sexy goes hand to hand with a big dose of wild partying. All of that results in the anthem called “Fuck Up Your Liver”, which from the first note has a bit of Motorhead’s “Iron Horse” , and when the vocals start Lemmy is mentioned in the lyrics. Nice move, guys! Besides, you must agree that there is no good hard rock or heavy metal album without booze, so there you have it. When the party is over, there must be room for a little hangover music. This is why Formosa has composed a ballad and placed it on the tracklist perfectly. Just when you start to wonder if there are some clean guitars on this album, there they come, leading through the verse to the chorus of “Sugar Daddy.” A song dedicated to all the wealthy older men out there seeking attention via offers of money. If someone even starts to analyze whether there’s a right amount of morale in the lyrics, the instrumental bits will instantly come in as an distraction with a very contagious melody. Yeah, listen to it once and you will hum about sugar daddies all day long.
The 6th song on the album puts us on the wheels to find “Love On The Highway”. Pretty much a Judas Priest sounding number with a modern hard rock chorus, so you can bang your head (or each other) to a well known “ram pam pam pam” rhythm and a perfectly melodic solo guitar. When I read the title “Proud To Be Loud”, I instantly thought that the next song might be a cover of an early Pantera song, but when I pressed play I realized I was wrong. The drums came pounding with the “the train” rhythm, then the bass and guitar came in as well, and it all sounded like an 80’s disco hit up until the line “Baby, you need some rock’n’roll” brought it back to the roots. The singer’s pronunciation in the chorus reminded me of James Hetfield, although I didn’t hear any traces of Metallica influence on the album whatsoever. “Pull Away” starts with a pleasantly descending riff and leads to another forward marching music piece which just can’t sound wrong to any of us booze consuming heavy music lovers. I just love the flow that goes through and through from upbeat to downbeat, then it evolves into some kind of “Billy Idol on steroids” vibe and all together keeps bursting until the song ends.
The name of the penultimate song, or should I say “Johnny The Beaver” brings along a lot of strange associations but in the end it’s just a simple hard rock song that lets us know that “Johnny won’t go”. Well, good luck with staying around Johnny, but I must catch the last number on the album, and that won’t be an easy task since it’s named “Never Stop Rock’n’Roll”. This is my second favorite song on this exceedingly “sexy” release, right next to the title track. It has heavy balls, an epic main riff, teasing verse and bursts of ear-pleasing harmonies. And yeah, the guitar solo is so fuckin’ awesome, don’t you dare skip it if you are listening to this song.
While writing this review, I probably listened to this album ten times or so, from the first to the last second. It’s full of short but memorable hard rock and heavy metal instrumental pieces with unique vocals. Every song you hear is consisted of a very well known hard’n’heavy touch but is sprinkled with some refreshing add-ons that put Formosa outside the sea of today’s uninspired bands.
These guys have found the formula for making a great debut album and from this point on, I think they have a bright future and an army full of new fans waiting for them to release more short, heavy, loud and clear material. If you have a party or a drinking game coming up and you don’t know what music you should put on, Formosa is the first and foremost pick to spice up the atmosphere.
To conclude my little listening/ writing journey, I must lay my opinion on the cover artwork. If you look at it without keeping in mind what it stands for, it looks pretty minimalistic. Like a regular high school notebook drawing. On the other hand, if you do know the background story, you can’t be surprised with the fact why there is a barely naked power trio staring at you. The colors might be a little pale, but when the music kicks in, you will be healed!