Stuck Mojo have been going for a long time. In fact, the ball started rolling way back in 1989 and, according to their biography, they’ve been challenging mainstream music channels all that time. Indeed, having being picked up by Napalm Records who certainly know a thing or two about what won’t be played on the radio, things seem quite promising for the band’s eighth album ‘The Great Revival’.
Unfortunately, the band’s great revival is something that very few people these days want regurgitated. Like the sick that sometimes sticks in your throat after a dodgy meal, Stuck Mojo has brought up the sordid nu-metal era back into 2008. And what’s most scary is the seemingly aggressive sincerity with which they have delivered it.
I’ll give the album it’s due, there are a few brief but catchy (if rather embarrassing) tracks that recall fond memories of the likes of Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, such as ’15 Minutes of Fame’ which has rap vocalist Bonz Lord Nelson repeating the same chorus over and over again until the enjoyable novelty of the song is worn way past the ground and into some kind of 1995 rendition of Hell.
The rest of the album just wears far too thin far too quickly. Despite the Faith No More influenced sound of ‘Friends’, a chorus that has “you’re my best friend” as its key lyric sounds nothing more than a track for the next rawk High School Musical, or a South Park pisstake. ‘The Flood’ has a similar Eastern vibe to Incubus‘ ‘Aqueous Transmission’, before it breaks out into some urban flow that sounds terrible. The rap doesn’t help – “I’m so damn stressed/and so depressed/people wonder why my life seems so blessed.” These are lines that literally make you cringe at every rhyme.
When the band briefly leave the heavily rap/metal sound on ‘There’s A Miracle Coming” the vocal sample played over country guitars comes across as a pretentious effort to throw some credible religious themes into the album, but falls flat on its face in an uncomfortable ode to Jesus’ coming.
The album closes with a rather ambitious two parter, entitled ‘Superstar’. It’s a vicarious retelling of some girl becoming famous and forgetting to heed her mother’s advice (“don’t sell your soul kid!”) but any meaning behind it is completely lost behind the nonsensical lyrics which suggest that the Stuck Mojo’s lyricist isn’t aware of subtext. Think of Nickleback crooning about the woes of being rich and famous (oh wait…what’s that? They do? Jesus Christ we’re all fucked aren’t we?) and you’d be among the right lines for sheer audaciousness.
It leads to a conclusion that leaves me asking many questions of the band member’s sanity. These guys aren’t at an age where they can connect with a younger audience, and young teens are certainly the only audience I can fathom from this rather simplistic music. It’s the same gripe I’ve got with bands like Linkin Park – a group of fathers bemoaning how terrible their lives is makes it impossible for the music to actually sound anything other than manufactured tripe.
The Great Revival is no such thing. If anything it’s a very uncomfortable listen, sounding at best ten years too late and at worst like a desperate attempt to get young kids shelling out money for metal music that is deemed ‘acceptable’ by record executives and parents alike. The lyrical material is trite and complete uninteresting or involving, and the actual tunes are so uniformly structured that by about the middle of the album you wonder if you’ve actually been listening to the same three songs on repeat. They may have been going for a while, but I think it’s about time Stuck Mojo realised that they can’t keep up with the youth of today anymore.
Original article written for Sonic Dice.