My Kung Fu Is Good (Spitfire)
by Scott Hefflon
Most of this absoluetly rules, parts gets a little cheesy, and, to be honest, I have no idea how they’ll ever market something like this. Rich Ward was the guitarist and back-up singer in Stuck Mojo, a metal band that stretched into rap and r&b and Southern hard rock, and pulled off both thrash and manly harmonies with class. Rich then was in Fozzy, a novelty metal cover band fronted by wrestler Chris Jericho. His new project, The Duke, has a few crushing riffs, cuz let’s face it, the guy can play the hell out of a geetar, but he also explores, like, full-on piano ballads’n’shit. Soaring vocals, powerful and moving, with lungs bigger than Matchbox 20 or Ben Folds. Um, yeah. Close-minded metal doods are gonna wonder if they got the wrong CD, and very, very few will get and respect the living fuck out of Rich for attempting such things, and for pulling them off with such style. The last couple Stuck Mojo releases showed a pop tendency and strong vocals, but this, man, it’s clear and non-ironic, and a really ballsy play. If we can accept a guy from Emperor deciding he wants to form a band like Peccatum, Zykk Wylde can shred’n’squeal or sing country, and, of course, Devin Townsend from Strapping Young Lad can experiment and tinker to his heart’s content, we can accept this. Add Rich Ward to the very, very short list of metal guys allowed to completely reinvent themselves. Well done, bro.