Stuck Mojo - _Rising_
(Century Media, 1998)
by: Adrian Bromley (
It seems so fitting that a monstrous force from the Southern United States (Atlanta, Georgia to be exact) is destined to give us metal heads a whooping of a lifetime. The band in question is Stuck Mojo and the item knocking us to floor and kicking the shit out of us is the quartet's latest long player, _Rising_. I was not prepared for this and I reckon those who pick this up will be pummeled equally. Fans of the band have come to expect a sudden surge of mighty riffs and in-yer-face attitude with years of progression from Stuck Mojo, but this is just mind boggling. The band's growth in experience and intensity has been well-chronicled since their debut _Snappin' Necks_ in 1994 and their continuous growth into 1996's brilliantly hard-hitting _Pigwalk_, which was one of my fave records the year it surfaced thanks in part to Stuck Mojo's reckless attitude and Devin Townsend (of Strapping Young Lad) and Daniel Bergstrand's (Meshuggah producer) production efforts. From the current-themed ideas about U.S. President Bill Clinton on "Crooked Figurehead", the perils of society one must face ("Trick" or "Rising") or racial stereotypes/issues within the rap-styled "Suburban Ranger", hardcore/rap/metal outfit Stuck Mojo deliver the goods in a big way. Like a gun shoved in your mouth by a hostage taker, Stuck Mojo has you at its mercy for 46+ minutes, never letting you go until their full-agenda is digested into you brain. While still loud, obnoxious and completely volatile, _Rising_ has lost its precision production, aiming for a more raw and live feel. But that isn't a bad thing either. With the help of producer Andy Sheap (Exodus, Skinlab), the downscaling of production value is not a deterrent for the band's music to prosper in many other ways. Singer/rapper Bonz has never sounded so angry and Rich Ward's guitar playing and song writing has enhanced tremendously since the early days. And now, without such a slick coating, we hear and feel this moreso this time than ever before. Thick riffs laced with melodic hard core groove flow with ease as Bonz rants and rants till the cows come home. I didn't think they could top _Pigwalk_, but they proved me wrong. Non-believers run for your life, 'cuz the Mojo is rising!
(article published 3/10/1998)
||Testament / Stuck Mojo / Strapping Young Lad
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