Mook Back in Anger

Stuck Mojo's Violate Thisdelivers a postmortem on a rap-metal act angry as hell it missed out on the coin and plaudits of the FDA (Freddy Durst Army). If I read the excuses of their manager's liner notes rightly, their problem is that they were uncompromising pioneers, or some similar self-justification, way back in the early '90s, and too far ahead of the pack.

Or maybe it was because they were saddled with a rapper whose flimsy grasp of syntax was never really up to the challenge of the riffs his mates threw at him. ("Fuck you drunk driver/Hate you like MacGyver," blessedly not included in this collection, is indicative of the chap's Ogden Nash for Ninnies gift.) For it was the riffs that worked magic, coke-blackened steel delivered by the only real guitar hero the wretched genre has produced, Rich "the Duke" Ward, a fellow who toiled to ensure that his instrument not be reduced to the role of jug-band washboard.

Violate Thisbristles with commanding ax presence, which, whenever it shoved the rapper aside, or whenever he was replaced by someone in the group conscripted to actually sing, transformed Stuck Mojo into lubricated power metal with a love of catchy arrangement and headbang. You get pre-production takes that surpass samples that made it to the action catalog, Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe covers, and one extravagance: "Southern Pride," which achieves that sublime "suvvern" character in the good ol' beat-yer-wife-and-the-liberals-too tradition of first album Point Blank. One of Ward's best shots, "Propaganda," is also included, its bluesy über-metal wallop simply muscling aside every attempt by the hip-hopper to get in the way.

 
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