"Snappin' Necks"

(Century Media Reissue)

01. Not Promised Tomorrow
02. Snappin' Necks
03. F.O.D.
04. The Beginning of the End
05. Cake
06. 2 Minutes of Death
07. Who's the Devil
08. Change my Ways
09. Monkey Behind the Wheel
10. Uncle Sam Sham
11. Propaganda
Bonus Tracks:
12. Love Has no Color
13. Hotlanta
14. Babylon
15. Propaganda (demo)
16. F.O.D. (live)

RATING: 8.5/10

I will forever associate STUCK MOJO in general and the 1995 debut album "Snappin' Necks" specifically with the band's performance sandwiched between opener WICKER MAN and headliner MACHINE HEAD (supporting "Burn My Eyes"). The scorching guitar work of Rich Ward, those energetic rhythms, and the off-the-rails insanity of lead vocalist Bonz who rapped the vocals in a way that recalled FAITH NO MORE's Mike Patton or THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Anthony Keidis, but so much heavier and with his own style! This was a combination that worked to a "T" and raised the band's coolness level to heights I would not have thought attainable by a seemingly risky style blend.

That same pure metal energy translates well to "Snappin' Necks", an album that to this day still sounds vibrant, catchy, and metal through and through. One of several Century Media reissues celebrating the label's 15th anniversary, the biting guitar tone and crisp rhythm section of "Snappin' Necks" 2006 sounds even better with the remastering job. It is the combination of Ward's killer riffs, Bonz's precision raps to go along with the tight 'n' groovy rhythms of bassist Dwayne Fowler and drummer Brent Payne, and the sizeable hooks that are found on virtually ever song. Big, bad, and metallic tracks like "Not Promised Tomorrow", "Monkey Behind the Wheel", "Who's the Devil", and "F.O.D.". offer fist-pumping choruses that expertly match Bonz's speed raps with heavy backing vocals. The choruses of both the title track and "The Beginning of the End" feature backing shouts that give off a slight BIOHAZARD vibe, yet the wah-wah guitar groove on the former and funky sections on the latter mixed with those fat guitar licks are solely the domain of STUCK MOJO. Injecting swampy acoustic guitar into the mid-tempo strut of "Propaganda" spices up the song considerably. Like any good album that stands the test of time, "Snappin' Necks" succeeds because there are no weak tracks; each one is memorable in its own right.

As for the bonus material, the revised artwork and layout includes Martin Popoff's liner notes recounting the early days of the band and a meeting of the minds between Ward and Bonz that resulted in the Atlanta group's daring project. Demo tracks "Love Has No Color", "Hotlanta", and "Babylon" hint at the band's future potential, but won't bowl anyone over. A demo of "Propaganda", a live version of "F.O.D." , and video for "Not Promised Tomorrow" round out the disc.

While the "Pigwalk" follow-up (also reissued by Century Media) is a strong album, one that boasts a better production and features a little stretching in the songwriting department, the magic of "Snappin' Necks" could not be matched. The disc just has that certain "something" that continues to make metal fans' eyes light up when the subject of STUCK MOJO comes up. Whether you are a fan from way back that hasn't dug out the old albums in a while or a curious newbie, "Snappin' Necks" will feed a metal appetite of any size. Yeah, even with a vocal style that has absolutely nothing to do with Chuck Billy or Rob Halford.


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