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    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Judas

    You didn't actually think this was about Lady Gaga's "Judas," did you?

    The look on the faces of the Little Monsters who randomlystumbled upon this article

    This week on #TST, we're featuring the music of Fozzy, Chris Jericho's heavy metal band, which has been active for 18 years and is about to release their seventh studio album. Not bad for what was once a cover band named after Ozzy Osbourne with a vocalist named Moongoose McQueen.

    In many ways, Fozzy and its music has evolved much like Jericho's characters in WWE. Over the years, Fozzy's sound has become more polished and put-together, something a band can only really accomplish after multiple years of making music and working on their craft as a unit. In fact, when you listen to some of their more recent releases, it's easy to forget that they once sounded like this:

    If that was the Gift of Jericho, I'd send it back, maaaaaaaan.

    That video's from the August 19, 2002 episode of Monday Night RAW, when Jericho sounded like he was still just getting by on being a former world champion who just happened to be in a rock band. He wasn't really singing as much as he was using the voice he uses to cut promos to hum a particular tune. Now, compare that with Fozzy's latest single, "Judas."

    First off, "Judas" has to be the Fozzy song with the most mainstream crossover potential thus far. It has a lot of the heavy metal elements you'd expect from the genre. And yet, it isn't as alienating to non-heavy metal fans as some of Fozzy's earlier songs were like "Feel the Burn" or "End of Days."

    The intro on "Judas" could very well be a wrestler's entrance theme. Hell, if I were a wrestler myself, I'd even consider using this as my own theme music. It's got the right kind of oomph to announce someone's presence while simultaneously establishing some badassery in the process.

    The lyrics talk about a guy who's turned on the closest people to him, effectively destroying his own life the way Judas Iscariot did. As Jericho sings, he also describes someone so broken on the inside who keeps a tough facade as he struggles with his betrayal of his loved ones. Now, why does that sound like a certain New Face of America?

    Remember when I said Fozzy sounds more polished in 2017 than they used to in their earlier days? It's most evident in Jericho's vocals, which are way more refined compared to his more raw sound when Fozzy was starting out. I wouldn't know if DDP Yoga actually helps him with his singing as he claims on Talk Is Jericho, but whatever he's been doing over the last 15 years has been doing his singing wonders. 

    And the hook? Man, that hook.

    What makes it really effective is how it repeats the right phrases with the right notes at the right time. It's not like the second verse in Pink's "Try," where there are two bars that the songwriter seemingly didn't write lyrics for anymore because tinamad siya or something. 

    What have I become? Now that I've betrayed
    Everyone I've ever loved, I pushed them all away
    And I have been a slave to the Judas in my mind
    Is there something left of me to save
    In the wreckage of my life? My life
    I'm becom-, I'm becom-, I'm becoming
    I'm becom-, I'm becom-, I'm becoming
    Judas in, Judas in my mind
    I'm becom-, I'm becom-, I'm becoming
    I'm becom-, I'm becom-, I'm becoming
    Judas in, Judas in my mind
    Judas in my mind

    When Jericho repeats "my life," you can actually imagine the persona emphasizing that he's fucked his own life up. And when he repeats, "I'm becom-" on the way to singing "I'm becoming," you can imagine him actually going nuts as he struggles to come to terms with what he's turned into. That's great use of this classic songwriting trick, which when done right, makes a hook catchy and addictive. Need any proof? Look no further than the multiple "Tell me whys" in the hook of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way."

    All in all, "Judas" is a great song to incorporate into a wrestling show because of its entrance theme upside, as well as its lyrical content. It was an appropriate choice as the theme of NXT TakeOver: Chicago, especially given the post-main event Tommaso Ciampa heel turn on Johnny Gargano. I never skip the song whenever I listen to an episode of Talk Is Jericho, and I listened to this track five times already today. I suggest you do the same. Don't worry, there are worse songs to suffer LSS from. 

    Photos from the "Judas" music video of Fozzy and the "Judas" music video of Lady Gaga


    Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast and The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. He dresses up in fancy suits from time to time to book matches as PWR's General Manager.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Judas Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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