"Southern Born Killers" (Napalm; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Undoubtedly one of the bands lost in the 90s metal shuffle were Stuck Mojo, a group that never ascended to the heights that countless others who emulated their meshing of rap and metal did. Back after a lengthy hiatus and with a new frontman to boot, the 10-track disc "Southern Born Killers" marks this act's comeback, sounding as if it were 1997 all over again. 

Meaty riffs and killer hooks adorned with gritty twists a la Sevendust bust through the speakers on tracks like "Home" and "Metal Is Dead," while the title track and "I'm American" showcase new throat Lord Nelson's stellar rap skills and Chuck D-esque cadence. 

While the nostalgia moments here are bountiful, such as the head-bobbing groove on "That's When I Burn," Stuck Mojo presses forward by doing what they do regardless of trends and styles, shown on the moody thrash crunk on "Yoko" and the eerie spoken word piece "For the Cause of Allah." Never ones to shy away from controversy or failing to mix things up, Stuck Mojo's slightly dated sounds may not be the special of the day anymore, but they do manage to match the wallop of the old times quite a bit here, making this disc a nice return for a band poised to run alongside acts like Hed PE and Saliva. 

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"Pigwalk" (Century Media; 1996)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's been some time since I sat down and listened to the re-mastered edition of Stuck Mojo's 1995 CD, "Snappin' Necks," so I don't really remember how "rap" its metal was. Memory tells me, however, that it was more rap than on "Pigwalk," although there's still plenty of rap to be found here.

As I said in my previous review, I was never a big fan of rap metal, but "Pigwalk" has something about it that sets it apart from other rap metal CDs. Maybe it's not quite as "rap" as other CDs, maybe the guitar is sharper (it's rusty razor sharp here), maybe the songwriting in general is just better. Whatever the reason, "Pigwalk" is the Stuck Mojo CD I'll go back to more often.

Throughout "Pigwalk," Stuck Mojo play with a chunky grind that powers through any rap misgivings and forces the CD to become something more than just another rap metal album. Tracks like "Violated" verge on hardcore, while other tracks lean more toward Pantera-style metal. Don't get me wrong: The rap influences are still there, they just don't seem as painfully annoying.

This re-mastered version sounds pretty close to perfect and features eight bonus tracks including demos, a live track, a hilarious song entitled "Pizza Man," plus cover versions of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf," Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild" and Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil." (And, yes, there are those who will never forgive Stuck Mojo for what they've done to these classics).

If you're new to Stuck Mojo, this is the place to start exploring this band. If you're a longtime fan, pick up this newly re-mastered version for the strength of the cover tracks alone.

Stuck Mojo: Bonz - lyrical expressionist; Rich Ward - guitars, backing vocals; Carey Lowery - bass, backing vocals; Bud Fontsere - drums.

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"Snappin' Necks" (Century Media; 1995)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Back when this album was originally released, I wouldn't have given it the time of day. I never really did care for rap-style rock vocals (and, to this day, I mostly still don't). But there are certain bands that can pull off that sound. Stuck Mojo, I've discovered since, is one of those bands.

With grinding, slashing guitars and hard-driving rhythms, it's impossible not to get caught up in "Snappin' Necks," especially on tracks like "Propaganda," "Not Promised Tomorrow" and the title track. Some tracks may still be a little too "rap" for my taste but even then, the irresistible fretwork of Rich "The Duke" Ward keeps me interested.

This 2006 re-release of the 1995 album contains all eleven tracks from the original release, re-mastered and sounding damn crisp and heavy, as well as four bonus tracks (including one demo and one live track) and a video for "Not Promised Tomorrow." "Love Has No Color," the first of the bonus tracks, is a simmering, atmospheric little number that is as haunting as it is insightful. This re-release is a cool package all around because the previously hard-to-find CD was ridiculously costly (selling on eBay for $20 and up), the re-mastering makes the disc more listenable, the bonus tracks are worthy additions rather than just filler and the newly re-designed cover is better than the original. All that and the fact that "Snappin' Necks" is a damn fine album that I overlooked the first time round (due to my dislike of rap-style rock vocals).

Some albums deserved to never go out of print and Stuck Mojo's "Snappin' Necks" is definitely one of them.

Stuck Mojo is: Bonz as lyrical expressionist, Rich Ward on guitars and backing vocals, Dwayne Fowler on bass and backing vocals, and Brent Payne on drums.

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"Snappin' Necks" (Century Media; 1995)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Stuck Mojo's debut was a revelation for many - the combination of hard rock and a rap-singing style pre-dates Korn by at least one year. Just because Stuck Mojo aren't as popular as Korn doesn't mean they aren't relevant. In fact, as I write this, Korn's fan base seems to be deteriorating and it wouldn't surprise me if Stuck Mojo gets a whole bunch of new fans as Korn fans search for something more grounded.

Unlike Korn, Stuck Mojo don't go to the well of personal troubles to draw inspiration for their lyrics. Stuck Mojo look at the world around them and see the hopelessness of youth living in urban areas ("Not Promised Tomorrow"), artists pandering to trends ("Snappin' Necks"), fighting other people's expectations of Stuck Mojo's failure ("F.O.D.") - and that's just the first three songs! - the rest of the lyrics continue to deal with very serious topics. 

The music holds up just as well - heavy grooves blend with ferocious beliefs - and it is infectious. What's worth hearing from Stuck Mojo is "Not Promised Tomorrow," the title track, "Who's The Devil," and the scathing "Monkey Behind The Wheel."

My first introduction to Stuck Mojo was in the live setting and hearing the CD is a bit of a let down if only because Stuck Mojo's live performances are so intense. "Snappin' Necks" is a definite 'keeper' and has given me a chance to relive the memories of a great concert. 

"Snappin' Necks" was produced by Jozef Nuyens (Jason & The Scorchers). 

Stuck Mojo is: Bonz as lyrical expressionist, Rich Ward on guitars and backing vocals, Dwayne Fowler on bass and backing vocals, and Brent Payne on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.