Monday, 17 March 2008

Monday Memory

Still back in the mid-late 90's for this 'un, at a point when nu-metal was but a nascent genre without a red cap in sight and when emo had more to do with spectacles than eye-liner. Like spring following winter and boy bands having careers of 3 days, however, some things remain constant. At this point in time rap-metal was no less of a dirty term than it is to this day, which brings us to Stuck Mojo and some truly great study advice................

I found the Mojo crew thanks to a 50/50 split of the '
Pigwalk' video (see the link with the pic now....? I crack myself up and that's all that matters peeps) being all over Headbanger's Ball and my Dad's work buddy Mark being all over that band and sorting me out the album proper. I unashamedly admit to being totally engrossed in the rap/heavy fusion at the time and 'Pigwalk' still sounds raw and feral to me now. It's all crunchy riffing and the machine-gun vocals of Bonz that just top it off. The irony of 'The Sermon' with hindsight is also strangely satisfying on a return listen and worth sticking up here for posterity:

Brothers and sisters, we live in a troubled time.
We live in a time when lack of ability and talent is mistaken for genius.
When jumping on the bandwagon is considered originality.
Ahh, we live in a time when a world intended, much needed musical revolution
has been weakened, perverted, polluted, until it is no more than a hideous fashion show.
A fashion show that began as a rebellion itself against corporate mainstream,
yet today it finds itself to be the very mainstream that it claimed to be alternative to.
While the bands who would before criticize arena rock stars now find themselves arena rock stars!
What was once the antidote has now become the poison.
The cure has become the disease.
Ahh, let the church sing.

Being fair, this never came to pass for Stuck Mojo who remained pretty cult figures, if that. But clearly the rappers won out in the metal world for a while there, most horrifically culminating in Fred Durst's early noughties travesties (fine, yeah, I still bounce when 'Rollin' comes's not a crime, yet). There are points in there of interest in terms of scenes rising and falling but that's not the focus of this rambling, so back on point......

I remember making the decision to see these boys at the height of their 'Rising' tour in 1998, probably when they were most well known. It was summertime but not before exams were out and, of course, sods law deigned that the show fell on the eve of my French listening A-level. The gig was in Newport to boot, a good couple of hours from where I lived meaning an inevitable late return. This is my first memory of sacking off responsibility in favour of a good time and I reckon it's vindicated by the fact that I'm still recounting it now with a big smile. I went, drank too much lager beforehand with guys who had MUCH more tolerance than I, drank s'more in a venue - TJ's - that looked like your mate's kitchen, then almost lost my head surfing near the perilously low-ceiling. The journey home was a riot for entirely childish reasons and the next day was looking like a bit of a write off. Luckily I gathered my thoughts and navigated my way through some conversations about French socio-economics, resulting in a perfectly reasonable grade 2 months later.

Having lost Bonz some years ago and split a few times, the Mojo crew are still banging heads and snapping necks this very month, as they bolt through Europe with Ektomorf.They now have a fella named simply 'The Lord' filling the rap duties, with Rich Ward being the linch pin and providing the same Southern flavour that ran through most of the music from 'Rising' onwards.

For all the cliches that the music might cover, they can still pen a hook-heavy metal tune that keeps one entertained. That said, it's still the raw aggression of 'Pigwalk' and the memory of putting music first that initially springs to mind when iTunes throws them up on the playlist now.

Pigwalk vid - At 1:19, that's where TJ's got messy

Stuck Mojo 2008 -
Rich Ward (solo) -

Now playing: School of Language - Rockist Part 2
via FoxyTunes

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