Corey Taylor – CMFT
Released: October 2nd, 2020
Corey Taylor // Vocals
Christian Martucci // Guitar
Zach Throne // Guitar
Jason Christopher // Bass
Dustin Robert // Drums
He’s a heavy music icon who gives no fucks and does whatever he wants and this is evident in Corey Taylor‘s brand new solo album CMFT (or Corey Mother Fuckin’ Taylor for those in the know) which showcases the man’s ability to pen a great song, regardless of the genre it falls in. Whether you love him in Slipknot, prefer him in Stone Sour or just want to hear him tackle a range of new styles without any premeditated expectations, then strap yourself in for a wild ride because this album has something for everyone and to better guide you, I’ve decided to go against the grain and sub-categorise them for you so you know what to expect!
Dad Rock Classics
This category is dedicated to the songs that could pass as a Stone Sour track, but are a little on the cheesy side with something you might catch your Dad cranking once he’s played the shit out of Cold Chisel/Jimmy Barnes during a sesh with the lads.
Album opener ‘HWY 666‘ falls under this category with its hard country/rock sound that could be placed alongside bands like ZZ Top or The Charlie Daniels Band (aka ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia‘). Corey’s always perfect vocals aren’t the highlight this time, but the fast-paced guitar playing throughout. ‘Samantha’s Gone‘ is 100% Dad Rock awesomeness. It has harmonised singing in the chorus, plenty of riffs and the best way I can explain this one to you is, it sounds like an M Rated Steel Panther song, you know, less sex, drugs and rock & roll and more upbeat fun. ‘Black Eyes Blue‘ goes in here because it’s a radio-friendly rock track with a dash of Country… however, it could very much find itself in an uncategorisable section of this review because it’s literally a combination of a whole heap of genres, thrown in a blender with some cheap bourbon and mixed on high.
‘Kansas‘ is yet another radio-friendly rock song, much faster than the previously mentioned ‘Black Eyes Blue‘ and something you’d hear Triple M/Mainstream Rock Radio flogging 10 times a day. It’s good, just not my cup of tea. ‘The Maria Fire‘ finally sees Corey tackling that bluesy/saloon style he was teasing us about when he appeared on our Wall Of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast back in 2017. His voice suits the style perfectly, but unless you can appreciate the core “country blues” vibe this song pulls off, you may find it hard to digest.
Hard Rock Riffage
The songs that fall under this section are those which pack a little more punch than the Dad Rock Classics mentioned above. These are the ones that may be a little too hard on the ears for those over the age of 50, but are still palatable once you give them a couple spins.
‘Meine Lux‘ was a hard one to categorise because it’s too heavy for Dad Rock, but not heavy enough to be a heavy belter. It’s that middle ground and if you know the song ‘Ballroom Blitz‘, I’m calling this Corey’s version of that track. There are more guitar solos than you can poke a stick at. If you enjoy those old school car chase movies like Smokey and the Bandit, Blues Brothers, Starsky and Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard, then this song would definitely fit on one of the soundtracks for those movies, should they ever get remade (you know, because Hollywood is shit out of ideas at the moment). ‘Halfway Down‘ is on the cusp of Dad/Hard Rock but I’m going to let it slide in the heavier one mainly because of the fact it’s got yet another guitar solo that’s long enough for you to dash off to the toilet and get back in time for Corey’s vocals to kick back in again.
‘Culture Head‘ is brilliant. It’s solo Corey Taylor at his absolute best. Zero fucks given. Taking aim at everything from Religion to Cancel Culture to Disgruntled Fans. I’m all for it and can safely say this was my favourite single out of all the ones that were released for this record. If you don’t like it, you’re wrong! There’s even a breakdown section FFS. ‘Everybody Dies On My Birthday‘ is great too. Expect a fast, jam-packed hard rock anthem that’ll be a fantastic addition to your running or driving playlists. Sexy solos, some impressive drumming from Dustin Robert which help you keep up with the track’s tempo and some sing-a-longs that’ll have you screaming along at the top of your lungs once you give it a few spins!
The ones that slow things right down and embrace the soothing sounds of Corey Taylor‘s vocals with a stripped back guitar and wholesome lyrics which could potentially send you to sleep… in a good way!
‘Silverfish‘ kicks off with an acoustic guitar taking the spotlight bringing us in to Mr Taylor’s iconic voice which is so sexy once you take away the rock backing instrumentals and listen to the talent he has behind him. Yes he’s done ballads for Stone Sour (‘Bother‘) and Slipknot (‘Vermilion Pt. 2‘) but this one is more stripped back, with that country twang he’s infused through the majority of the songs on this solo outing. It opens up with an electric guitar solo around the halfway mark, but unfortunately for me, it may have been better if they left the electric guitars out and kept this as an acoustic guitar + drum combo only.
‘Home‘ is your quintessential, stereotypical piano ballad and goddamn it is beautiful. Between Corey’s vocal performance, the tone of the piano and the wholesomeness of the lyrics, this one melts you like butter and harks back to ballads of bands from the 80’s like Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and Guns ‘N Roses. There’s even a fucking cello/string section that just boosts the mood by 100. Its been a long time since I’ve heard ballad this good so I’m giving it a perfect score.
The Whacky One
The black sheep of the album…
You want a song from Corey Taylor that’s unlike anything he’s ever dne before, then go no further than ‘CMFT Must Be Stopped (feat. Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie)’ which fuses rap rock, hard rock and riffs together in what can only be explained as a genre orgy without lube or safewords. Much like how Ronnie Radke (Falling in Reverse) started rapping on his songs, but fans didn’t like the idea to start off with, Corey jumps straight in showing us just how fast his mouth can move and to be completely honest with you, I’m not much of a rap fan these days, but I reckon he’s nailed it with this first attempt. Sure you’re not used to it, but give it a few listens and hear just how much effort he’s put into perfecting every word and you have to give him credit for that. Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie add a bit of professional rap flavour to the mix and who knows where he’ll take this concept next. I’m intrigued and would love to see how he belts this out live!
Punk Rock Madness
The final song NO ONE saw coming!
Seriously, where the fuck did ‘European Tour Bus Bathroom Song‘ come from? I was half expecting a dad rock all in band jam to end the album but literally out of nowhere, this loud, fast and punk filled banger popped up and holy shit, it was a totally unexpected hidden gem! If you’ve been a fan of early punk rock bands like Descendents, Offspring, Pennywise, Bad Religion and/or Black Flag, then this is going to be right up your alley. It is unlike any other song on CMFT and serves as the album’s “saving the best for last” moment. You’re not gonna be able to listen to it just once, so have that replay button ready and prepare your ears for a style you’ve never heard Corey tackle before 2020!
Annnnd there you have it! What fans need to remember is that this is Corey Taylor doing something that he’s always wanted to do. You’re not going to hear these songs on a Stone Sour or Slipknot album, but you will heard them on CMFT which presents the iconic frontman’s progression as a musician and just how talented he can be when he tries his hand at genres that have piqued his interest over the years.
For some fans, it may be too far removed from what they know and love him for (I’m talking about you Maggots), but for the passive listener, you’re gonna uncover a few gems here you didn’t expect to hear from one of metal’s more recognised names.
Corey Taylor – CMFT tracklisting
1. HWY 666
2. Black Eyes Blue
3. Samantha’s Gone
4. Meine Lux
5. Halfway Down
8. Culture Head
9. Everybody Dies On My Birthday
10. The Maria Fire
12. CMFT Must Be Stopped [Feat. Tech N9ne & Kid Bookie]
13. European Tour Bus Bathroom Song