Stuck Mojo – Here Come The Infidels
“Welcome everybody to the dirty dirty south!” yells new frontman Robby J. Fonts. Welcome indeed, welcome to Stuck Mojo 2016. It’s been 7 years since we last heard from Rich Ward (aka The Duke Of Metal) and his band of merry rap/metalheads. Stuck Mojo are pioneers of rap metal, a polarising genre at the best of times. While other bands have seen more success, few are as down to earth and loyal to their roots. They avoid straying into pop side of things (although their reworking of ‘Country Road’ on The Great Revival may challenge that statement). But as a rule ‘Mojo have stayed true, keeping it heavy and brutal.
Getting back to their roots is what happened in 2014 when the band announced the “classic” line-up of Bonz (vocals) Corey Lowery (Bass) Rich Ward (guitar) and Frank Fontsere (drums) was reforming for a run of reunion shows and an album. A few shows happened, but Bonz and bass player Lowery departed before the promised album. So welcome aboard Len Sonnier (Bass) and Robby J. Fonts (vocals) and an album that almost never was.
Here Come The Infidels is 11 tracks of anger and brutality, a baseball bat in the face of… well just about everything.
Starting with the title track, announcing the return of Stuck Mojo with a warning to get out of the way or get run over, it sets the tone of the album perfectly. For the first time we hear new front man Robby J. Fonts, and it’s immediately clear that Fonts adds an extra element to the band. More than just another rapper, he can sing as well. If ‘Here Come The Infidels’ is a sledgehammer of a song then the next track ‘Rape Whistle’ is a B52 bomber destroying all in its way. This is not an album for the faint of heart, confronting the listener both musically and lyrically.
There’s no peace love and happiness here, but you want something done? Grab your Barretta and go vigilante like on the third track ‘Charles Bronson’. That unmistakeable Rich Ward guitar tone works with Len Sonnier’s bass playing to produce groove with in your face brutality, thanks to Fontsere’s hard hitting drumming. This is classic Stuck Mojo, angry lyrics for an angry World. The PC brigade are next in line with the quartet defending free speech for everyone with ‘Business of Hate’. Vocally it’s a complex track combining an almost metalcore style with clean vocals and rapping. The fifth track (and first single, available as a lyric video on YouTube) is ‘Verbal Combat’. It’s a shout out to the other pioneers of the rap metal genre with Run DMC, Chuck D, Public Enemy and Anthrax all receiving respectful mentions.
Just to mix things up, beautiful piano introduces the next track ‘Destroyer’. Musically it’s more straight out rap song and has a slight old school Xzibit feel to it – if Xzibit swapped pimpin’ rides for The Duke Of Metal on guitar. The track breaks up the album nicely and shows maturity not present in earlier releases. Sheer brutality returns with ‘Worst Person On Earth’, the anger cranked up a notch as the band calls out the rampant hypocrisy of the entertainment business, particularly artists who say one thing and do the opposite. It’s anyone’s guess who this song is aimed at, but there are a few strong clues and it’s left up to the listener to draw their own conclusions. ’Fire Me’ starts out as a straight out metal song with a nice 80’s feel about it, and sees Ward’s long-time collaborator Terry Chism from Walking With Kings team up with Robby J. Fonts to inject yet another element to the album. The track has a really nice groove and a great hook in the chorus, and Les Sonnier’s bass playing shines throughout. It’s another well-orchestrated break from the baseball bat in the face.
Leap into ‘I Am Legion’ and the baseball bat is back, Frank Fontsere’s with machine gun-like drumming driving this track in full force. Lyrically it’s the stuff of Old Testament nightmares, so be afraid kids, be very fucking afraid. The penultimate track, ‘Tamborine’, is a funky little number reminiscent of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Lead singer Fonts could give Anthony Kedis a run for his money and Sonneir confirms once again the reason he got the call up to take on bass. The album closes out with a good dose of ‘Blasphemy’ another song that encapsulates everything that is Stuck Mojo – soulful vocals, funk, metal, grinding guitars and Rich Ward’s death growl backing vocals.
Robby J. Fonts may be a white boy from Canada, but he can spit rhymes with the best. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Robby J. is to Stuck Mojo what Bruce Dickinson is to Iron Maiden and Brian Johnson is to AC/DC, ‘Here Come The Infidels’ may just be ‘Mojo’s ‘Back in Black’ or ‘Number Of The Beast’ In short, this is the best music any incarnation of Stuck Mojo has made. It’s just a shame it took a seven year hiatus to create it.
I’m giving ‘Here Come The Infidels’ 9 ½ broken teeth out of 10
- Here Come The Infidels
- Rape Whistle
- Charles Bronson
- The Business Of Hate
- Verbal Combat
- Worst Person On Earth
- Fire Me
- I Am Legion