I’m not particularly keen on rap/hip-hop or southern Metal, which by default should mean that I would hate STUCK MOJO, a band that essentially pioneered the southern-fried Rap Metal style in the early to mid nineties. Considering all the Black Metal I’ve been immersing myself in recently I should’ve been even more averse to this album since it’s pretty much the polar opposite of what I like in my Metal, but guess what: I really like this album. I’m feelin’ it, yo.
I remember this band making this album available for free from their website about a year ago, with guitarist Rich Ward (see also FOZZY) going on about how they are sick of greedy labels and so on. Well, here we are a year later, with “Southern Born Killers” being released by Austria’s Napalm Records. So much for giving the middle finger to the record industry, boys… Anyway, this album is proof that sometimes the sum is bigger than its parts. The riffs aren’t exactly very heavy or intricate, the drummer keeps it to a relative minimum and new vocalist Lord Nelson (no, not the famous British sea captain) raps away in a very old school way (a la PUBLIC ENEMY). Yet all these elements coalesce into an enjoyable whole. “Open Season” is my favorite on here – groovy Rap Metal sprinkled with Middle-Eastern melodies and great anti-jihad lyrics. Elsewhere, the spoken word interlude “For The Cause Of Allah” is also very interesting, while “I’m American” is a heavier and more uplifting cruncher. Top this off with a crisp production job and a tangible sense of passion and you have a perfectly fine modern Metal album on your hands.
It has a more contemplative nature than albums like “Pigwalk” and “Snappin’ Necks” and it’s way less aggressive but that doesn’t bother me. “Southern Born Killers” is well-tempered and consistently enjoyable album throughout. This won’t necessarily win over the extreme crowd and I’m sure this won’t be my most listened to album this year, but if you’re looking for something a little different and downright fun then dig this one out
(Online March 23, 2008)