“Southern Born Killers” by Stuck Mojo

Artist: Stuck Mojo
Title: “Southern Born Killers”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 3/4/2008
Genre: Crossover/Rap Metal
Rating: 3/5

In the middle nineties Stuck Mojo was one of the leaders in the realm of Crossover Metal or as it is more commonly known – “Rap Metal” with bands like Rage Against The Machine, and while they seemed to fall off the radar for a little while guitarist Rich Ward has rebuilt the group and returned with new music for fans who have been anxiously awaiting for them to do so. When the album began I realized how odd it felt to be once again hearing Rap Metal because to be quite honest the genre has become a thing of the past in today’s Metal world with its influences already felt, exploited to death and moved on from for many years. Yet despite this Ward and his band mates have returned with an album loaded with well-structured political commentary and fire that shows them proud of what they are and where they stand on things. It opens with “I’m American” (no, not the Queensryche song) and it pretty much lays the groundwork for the rest of the album from here. Gone is singer Bonz and in his place stands Lord Nelson who does a really good job on his first effort with the band. He rhymes with a solid flow and seems to fit right into the mix of the bands sound. He brings the necessary anger to life for the track “Open Season”, a song that offers up the bands personal views on Islamic Jihad. So charged up is the verbal imagery in this one that the group found it banned on some notable online mediums and even being spoken out against by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. I guess free speech is only allowed when you fall in with the acceptable line of being politically correct.

“Southern Born Killers” is a solid number and has some clean melodic vocal moments as does “The Sky Is Falling”. Each of them showing that they could have become more of a conventional Hard Rock or Metal outfit with some ease if they wanted to. An amusing and very kick ass track is found on “Metal Is Dead” and this one employs a wide number of genre techniques from guttural Death Metal growls to razor guitars and blast beats. It works from beginning to end and is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Ward’s guitar is rocking on the album and cuts the tension laid down in the rhymes like a razor blade and while the album is pretty good for its type I am wondering if there is still a place for this kind of stuff. Linkin Park used Rap influences in their brand of Metal when they first appeared a few years ago and later went on to collaborate with Jay Z and yet beyond that we don’t see the format appearing all that much anymore. Perhaps Stuck Mojo is aware of some Rap Metal resurgence that I don’t know about or perhaps they don’t care and are choosing to stick with what they know and deliver it to whomever comes along for the ride.

If you liked this sort of thing in the past then it should appeal to you in some fashion still. It was never my own personal choice of a genre style but I admit that some of it had the necessary fire to keep my interest when it was at its best. Perhaps you are one of those casual listeners who found some value in it as well and if this is the case then you cant do much wrong by looking into this album.

Track Listing:
1. I’m American
2. Southern Born Killers
3. The Sky Is Falling
4. Metal Is Dead
5. For The Cause Of Allah
6. Open Season
7. Prelude To Anger
8. That’s When I Burn
9. Yoko
10. Home

Official Website: www.stuckmojo.us

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