Stuck Mojo – HVY1 – Review

Stuck Mojo

HVY1 (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

Constantly building their reputation through touring and a refreshing crowd compassion and subsequent connection, Stuck Mojo have become Century Media’s biggest selling band in the U.S. (maybe, maybe not: these things are said once and we all spit-swap them until it’s ingrained). In any event, they are a great live band, and HVY1 is their live document, after a bit of line-up turmoil and break-up rumors, slamming with that large exacting hardcore rap groove this band finds without sounding trend-faced. Moreover, Stuck Mojo manage to make this feel like a sun-dappled festival gig in the ’70s, which is victory #1. Victory #2 is the perfectly crystalline production of long-time bud Andy Sneap, who grabs the band’s brisk and shocking groove engineering, and locks down the bolts so all you hear is the sweet ching of metal. Victory #4, however, is the crowning achievement: the two studio tracks.

“Reborn,” my God, where do I start? Suffice it to say, this is a masterpiece, the best song Faith No More never wrote, stout-of-hook, sugared with a perfectly-placed keyboard line (the same one that iced “Rainbow In The Dark”), and then rooted like a big oak with three different, blindingly beautiful guitar riffs. And that chorus: this song should be a smash hit. I just can’t stop playing it. It’s made my jogging tape and will likely burn many calories for me. It is the sweetest rock moment this year. If you’re not smiling out loud with a laugh painted right across your face yet, just check out the monster closing 56-second sequence: guitar hero composition that makes you feel like a dope for listening to European power metal (which I’ve decided is gay). “My Will” is also crunchy neo-metal science. If you can get past the first bass’n’drums half verse letdown, you’re safe to once more get stuck and infected by a guitar’n’flamethrower rap metal verve that is life itself. Hotlanta damn, this bodes well for the next studio album, to be sure. For now, have modest fun with this live thing, go revisit the band’s three records, and try not to play these two new ones into sick-of-it-all resentment.
(1453-A 14th St. #324 Santa Monica, CA 90404)