by Kidman J. Williams
Blacktop Mojo comes out swinging with their high-octane Texas sex sludge metal sound on their fourth album, simply titled Blacktop Mojo. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing this collection because of the album title. This album is nothing short of being a diamond in your collection.
Blacktop Mojo (Matt James, Matt Curtis, Nathan Gillis, Ryan Kiefer, Chuck Wepfer) do not disappoint you on this album. Unlike a lot of the poser filled modern music scene, they are not here to churn out downloadable hit after questionable hit. Blacktop Mojo shows that with a little work and love, you can still make a great body of work that doesn’t make you want to skip a tasty second.
On this fourth studio album, BM meshes a cocktail of their southern Texas metal, grunge type sounds, and classic bombastic arena rock thrills reminiscent of bands like Bad Company and good old Uncle Ted Nugent. They also lay it down in a way that is not so pathetically obvious like Greta Van Fleet’s zirconium Zeppelin.
There is a truth and stew effect that BM is able to achieve with all of their influences in all of their music.
Just like a great novel, BM catches your attention with the first track, “Wicked Woman.” It starts like a Rob Zombie production as you hear the decry of a woman, “Oh, mother in the sky. Take this sacrifice! I want to live forever!”
The guitar attack hits you harder than your mother’s wooden spoon on a cold winter afternoon. Sorry, I’m projecting.
The music churns you into a frenzy while the lyrics are just slightly evil fun like a good horror movie. They scream “Make me a God like you!”
They speak of a witchy woman which is not anything we haven’t heard in rock music before, but this woman wants to not only be powerful, but she yearns to be a God. The lyrical delivery behind this great rock tune slides around a riff reminiscent of Audioslave delivering Tool’s baby demon.
I’ll be honest. This is probably my favorite song on the album. “Bed Tundy” brings the rock heavy and hard with a great chantable chorus that’s palatable to any hard rock fan. The verses make this song really pop.
Matt James shows a flow only second to Method Man. This is undoubtedly a heavy rocking tune, but there is an undeniable rap and blues flow with a healthy slamming of intelligence. I haven’t seen a vocabulary displayed like this in the music industry in a long while. BM slaps you with heavy supercharged guitars and then Matt James slams you in the mouth with the Theonomous thesaurus.
If this isn’t a hit song, it should be one of those fan favorite songs that everybody hopes is played live at the show they are attending.
“Latex” is an obvious hit on this great collection of music. I’m not saying that in any kind of negative way. In fact, I’m doing exactly the opposite. This is a wonderful radio play worthy effort.
They calm things down a bit on this song. It is a deeper feeling that strikes through your ears. “Latex” is the quintessential breakup song. This is the song that you listened to and loved but didn’t truly understand until you lost love.
My point is that “Latex” is not a song to quickly dismiss because it is radio worthy. This is a deeply emotional ride that will not only make you happy, but will comfort you in your darkest moments.
Blacktop Mojo once again brings their creative A-game on this self-titled masterpiece. I could keep going on and on about every track on this album. Beautiful tunes like “Darlin I Won’t Tell” and “Tail Lights.” I could rave on about the southern sludge of “Do It For the Money” and “Jealousy,” but some things need to be a surprise for you.
Overall, this is an album that Blacktop Mojo should be extremely proud to have in their discography. This album is hard enough to keep your friends drinking whiskey all night, but it is beautiful enough to just hold your woman close on a moonlit fall night. Every album in their career has been a surprise and an achievement. And they always leave you wanting more.
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