CMFT Let’s see?

The first thing I feel we need to say is that this album isn’t out until the 2nd of October.

Secondly, its title is the solo artists name with Mother Fucker in the middle but expressed as initials. That being said, this is Corey Taylor. Lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour. In case you didn’t already know who we meant from his name alone. As any fan of metal and if you feel like being precise, Nu Metal, this is quite a big one.

Corey has been something of a solo entity since 2009 but only really performing works from his previous bands. He’s also featured on the soundtrack for the Sound City documentary which is a personal favorite but in terms of purely representing himself, this is the first foray into a world where you can’t hide. There are no bandmates to stand in solidarity with, there’s no overarching ethos and/or personality that can disguise what it is you’re doing or saying.  The first solo album is, despite the guest musicians to form the band, all you.

It’s not what you might expect. Yes, there has always been a couple of disconnects when it comes to Corey Taylor. First, how do you try and pigeon hole a guy that helped write and perform tracks as disparate as Sic and Through The Glass? Secondly, there’s the persona that pervades social media and esoteric events such as speaking to the Oxford Student Union, vs the guy in a mask screaming out his soul to 90,000 people at Download. There has always been a notion that however intimately involved with the music of Slipknot Corey was, he was something different, and let’s say more mellow underneath.

Well CMFT is it.  Yes, it does stand for Corey Mother Fucking Taylor which has been reasoned away as a school nickname as opposed to an entirely cringey title, but we’ll leave that where it is for now. This is the one chance he’s had in a very long time to express his actual musical influences rather than the ones that feel more pertinent at the time. The open book, the heart on the sleeve, honest to goodness guys this is me, album.

One, and presumably he, could argue that a perennial tourer with two bands on the go has had very little time to do this before now. Coronavirus might well have taken away all of our live music but it surely has given the idols of the genre far more time to explore their melodic souls and come up with something else. Not necessarily better but more of themselves than ever before. More of an honest experience excluded from all the usual bullshit pressure. Factoring in what the other band members want to do? Nope. Dealing with the demands of the label? Nah. Recording something that slightly shifts from the past so you look like you’ve progressed or matured? I’m alright cheers. This has been the window for unadulterated creation in its purest form. Whether for good or for ill.

On what basis are we even looking at an album that’s not out for two whole months?

Well, it’s Corey Mother Fucking Taylor that’s mother fucking why! So what do we have to go on more than blind hope and desperately crossed fingers? Officially it’s just “Black Blue Eyes”, the only thing that’s out there right now.

There can be all sorts of other tracks that are more dreamy and ethereal or more directly inspired by influences like AC/DC, but unlike the major music press who might have heard snippets, this is our total experience. For now. Honestly, it sounds like Foo Fighters lite with better vocals. Yikes.

Anyone hoping for a cover of the Charlatans “Blackened Blue Eyes” is set for disappointment.

Corey can say that he wants the reaction to be “a smile” or that he hopes people feel the true joy of the record but, we still have to like it you know? I’m not saying for one minute there was an expectation for a Stone Sour or Slipknot record. Corey himself said “If you’re gonna do something solo-wise, get away from what you’re known for..”, yet one might equally argue against people straying so far from what they know they’re immediately out of their depth.

Yes, music is one facet of talent, but much more now than possibly ever before, people have an affinity, and crucially an ability, within a certain genre that any meandering from is just going to hurt. 

Hopefully what we’re looking at here is a light being hidden under a bushel. Don’t put all the jokes in the film in the trailer. Whatever your chosen euphemism might be. If the name alone will give encouragement to check out the final product, why would you put out the best stuff as the first single? I don’t imagine the lackluster at best first effort will dissuade people from listening but give the public a little more to get their teeth into! I’ve seen enough bands destroy a promising album with shocking single choices but this is only one, and it’s coming from a name with enough cachet that we could get on to the second album before people truly switch off and just throw on “Iowa” or “Come what (ever) May”. This is based on the fact they’ve recorded enough for two albums in one sitting too so let’s see where that takes us.

From the chat, we’re in for some interesting tracks too. Influences named are Motley Crue, Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, the Charlie Daniels Band, and even the mighty Midlanders Slade (I’m not the only one), and these are just the influences of a young Corey. There’s also Prince, David Lee Roth, Mike Patton, Ice Cube and Stiv Bators. If he manages to hit his blend just right this will be an absolute corker of an album. You don’t always need a 40-year-old guy dressed as a clown smashing a beer keg with a baseball bat to form an album but let’s face it, it’s quite an act to follow.  Here’s hoping he manages it, just for the fans that have followed him for this long, if perhaps no longer.

Article by James Clinch

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