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Various Artists Mad Mike Jones Presents Mototrax 1

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Thursday, December 6, 2001 @ 2:17 PM


(Divine Recordings)

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This comp came out a coupla months ago and has been sitting in my “to be reviewed” pile for what seems like forever, taunting me, spying on me and generally slow boiling me into a subtle form of madness I like to call “critical meltdown.” Every so often I glance at my “pile” and start wondering if I’m ever gonna get to everything and will ever have time to give everyone a fair shake. After about a month of NOT getting to everything I start worrying that I’ve accidentally blown off a CD completely and it might be too late to even bother reviewing it all. Well, good people, I will not let you down. This CD shall be reviewed with the utmost enthusiasm, or at least as much as I can muster without aid of drugs or hookers…..and that, unfortunately, is not much. But here it goes….

Mad Mike Jones Presents Mototrax 1 is pretty decent collection of nu metal tunes offerings, quirky remixes, and some straight ahead rawk n’ roll. In the more metallic category, we get high-energy live cuts from Static-X (“Burning Inside”), Disturbed (“Stupify”) and Union Underground (”Natural High”). All are pretty crushing though none of these guys are exactly reinventing the wheel here. The one thing I hate about this whole post-Korn wave of metal is that all of them play their music EXACTLY the same live as they do in the studio. There’s no variation, no jamming, no tempo changes, just precise replicas of the albums cuts. Tight, yes. Inspired, hardly. Slaves On Dope are really the only band of this genre that attempt to mix things up on this album, splattering an abbreviated cover of Black Sabbath’s epic “War Pigs” with their own bloodthirsty maniacal charm. It doesn’t top the original by any stretch of the imagination, nor does it even come close to the Faith No More cover, but at least they shake things and try to give it their own testosterone-fueled stamp.

We also get a bunch of remixes here. Slipknot’s “Sic” (Molten Injection Mix) is typically punishing and features the most dry sounding snare drum since And Justice For All, while Cold’s “Just’ Got Wicked” (Madhatter Remix) actually breathes new life into an otherwise mundane track. I guess piling on a bunch of studio effects really can kick start a boring tune into being…well, not as boring. “Mudvayne” issue a fierce metallic warning with “Dig” (Everything and Nothing Mix) but, unfortunately, are as boring as ever. This song has like one friggin’ word in the whole thing until about half way through….and yes, that word is “dig.” Sheesh…. On the other hand, Soulfly’s Total Destruction Mix of “Terrorizer” is pretty cool, all layered in distortion and injected with a techno beat. It’s still not really my cup of tea but is musically much more interesting…I guess. The most drastic change of pace here is (hed) p.e.’s collaboration with Long Beach gangsta rapper Bad Azz. The song takes the chorus of Funkadelic’s “Testify” and spins it around, adding metal guitars and four on the floor raps. It works more as a rap tune than a rock tune, but the band takes a chance and that’s always appreciated.

Then we get to the rock n’ roll numbers, always my favorite selection. Houston, TX punk rawk up and comers Pure Rubbish start off the album with the ass kicking “Electric Heart,” a balls out rocker in the vein of Guns N’ Roses or Junkyard. Kinda punk, kinda metal, and very rock, these young teens recently signed to Ozzy’s label Divine and are surely off to bigger and better things. Nashville Pussy set this album on fire with a blazing version of Molly Hatchet’s Southern rock classic “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” complete with lead guitar harmonies and growling vocals about ”the road.” Seattle thrashers Zeke finish off the line-up with a typically bruising bash to the skull. Amazingly, the bluesy intro would lead you to believe they might actually slow things down for a song, but nooooo way! This band is a relentless punk-metal machine about one notch away from Slayer-dom and as soon as the intro wraps up they put the pedal to the metal and crank out two minutes worth of nitrogen fueled speed-core that will leave some hefty scars on unexpecting listeners. Not for the weak of heart….

Like most compilations, this is a random affair, but not without highlights. It’s a little random but should make for a decent mix tape at a very violent party. Tap that keg, motherfucker!

***


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