STUCK MOJO — Southern Born Killers (review)

STUCK MOJO — Southern Born Killers album cover Album · 2006 · Rap Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Seven years since their last studio album, Stuck Mojo are back! But fans who were excited to have their beloved rap metal pioneers return were met with something different than what they'd come to love in the 90's. And we all know that in the world of metal, this could be a huge problem...

Having parted ways with original vocalist, the much-loved hardcore-influenced Bonz, Stuck Mojo were now fronted by the man known as Lord Nelson. The major impact this had on the groups sound is unmistakeable. Whereas Bonz was versatile in his ability to rap, growl and shout, whilst emitting boundless energy and emotion in his performance, Nelson was, by-and-large, a legit rapper. Not one to shout, or jump around on stage like a lunatic, Lord Nelson comes from a hip hop background where most of his vocals are spoken word. I like it. Sure, it's nowhere near as exciting to listen to as Bonz, but it's still works well with the bands new style.

Speaking of which...

Seven years is a long time to pass when you're a musician, and no doubt influenced by the sound he'd developed with his band Fozzy, as well as his solo Duke project, it's no surprise that band leader and songwriter, guitarist Rich Ward has evolved his own playing style from the endless barrage of brutal metal riffs fans were use to, to a more varied style of hard rock which had a wider pallet of influences to draw inspiration from.

As a result, 'Southern Born Killers' is a more modern, more "complete" sounding band. With a proper rapper on board and more emphasis on song-writing techniques. Tracks like 'I'm American', 'Metal is Dead' and 'Open Season' are all classic Mojo, while songs like 'Yoko' and 'The Sky is Falling' take the band into almost progressive territory, with longer song durations, complex arrangements and the use of keyboards and samples. Not all fans liked it, but I find it interesting to see artists experiment with new ideas.

Looking at the big picture of Stuck Mojo's discography, nothing can really top those classic years with Bonz in the 90's, but Lord Nelson does a good job on this incredible album. It's different than anything they'd done previously, but that doesn't make it bad. In fact, this is probably closer to the definition of "rap metal" than anything they'd done before.

"Welcome to the south, bitches".
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