Snappin’ Necks (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon
I’d told myself that I’d never again listen to, much less review, another self-referencing rap/metal band. There’s a huge glut in the genre, and I, for one, was sick to death of it. When the cybertribal radio sampler for “Not Promised Tomorrow” came in, I was so blown away I un-resigned for one final assignment. This is it.
Stuck Mojo epitomize what this sound/style/way-of-life is all about. Everything should now be judged by how close it comes to equaling this motherfucker.
The guitars chug simply at times, backing up rapidfire machine gun rap, then they lunge into a slow, grinding slam to support the hugest monster roar I haven’t hated. Usually the demon roar shit rubs me the wrong way, but the mountainous lungs are used as a periodic break from the rap-a-thon. There’s also a snarl tucked in the midst somewhere that could proudly front any hardcore band. In other words, the vocal styles cover so much terrain that you never have a chance to tire of one singer before another opens his big mouth. Similarly, the guitar lines sometimes just crunch low and mean, forming a solid foundation, but they also enter the spotlight for their speedracer riffs and meaty hooks. Everyone’s given a chance to show off their chops.
To list the metal radio hits and/or pit-provoking faves would basically require a song-by-song description. The one that finally drove it home for me was “Uncle Sam Sham.” Its rocking rhythm and funky breaks were very Rage ATM until it broke down into total funk-rap, each vocalist having his say. That’s when something became crystal clear: The song’s not just about black/white unity; it exemplifies it. Black and white combining voices for a rich, diverse sound. Each brings his own style into the group, and while maintaining an identifiable presence, each can incorporate that personal self-strength into the group structure for the benefit of all. And to think that at first I thought it was just a powerful song.