Book Your Own Fuckin' Life

Raw Mojo (band) [edit] [flag] Last Updated: 2011-04-05

Pedal-to-the-metal rump-thumping in crisp, economical chunks (10 tracks/27 minutes) marks this power-trio venture into short-attention-span, riff-based rawk on Raw Mojo's "Veins." Like a budget chain store's base-priced Briggs & Stratton-powered lawn mower, it's noisy and raggedly efficient with no frills or apologies. Raw Mojo is a three-piece rock band based out of Iowa City, IA. Their music is refreshingly devoid of any pretension or irony. On Veins the band delivers 10 songs in less than a half hour, and each song comprises the same ingredients -- raw-throated singing, overdriven guitar, bass, and heavy drumming. Perhaps relentless brevity pays off as Angus Young of AC/DC has never done anything but plug a Gibson SG into a Marshall Stack, so there's a strong precedent for Raw Mojo's willingness to pick a formula and stick to it. On songs like "Punk," Raw Mojo riff like their lives depend on it. The song wind up being catchy, even with the hook of the chorus being nothing more than a telegraphed pentatonic bleating. The album closer "Take Her Away" has bassist 'Miss Nikki' getting her Joan Jett on to good effect in the CD's only ballad. Nikki fully commits to the persona of Rock&Roll Mama, and has the pipes to back it up. There's so little studio trickery on this CD that the few songs on which the vocals get treated with a wet reverb it stands out as a surprising texture. What comes through most of all is how tight the band is, as though they've been practicing these songs in their basement forever. And that's Raw Mojo's secret: they've focused on the pure joy of playing rock music so completely that virtuosity or 'originality' or sophisticated song writing would be an unnecessary distraction. Do not expect any long winded jams here! Think of it as music that you can work up a sweat with. Regardless of what it is you are doing to work up that sweat.

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