Corey Mother Fuckin’ Taylor. The Great Big Mouth. The Neck. #8. It doesn’t matter whatever or whoever you know this man as, you all know him as a living legend in the metal scene. The man who fronts not one, but TWO legendary metal bands; Slipknot and Stone Sour. The man who has written 4 (FOUR!) books over the time span of 7 years. Hell, he’s the man who wrote that Christmas song – X-M@$. It’s safe to say that in his 30+ year music career, Corey has been everywhere and has done everything there is to do. And yet, if you thought that he didn’t have any free hands left from all the pies he’s been dipping his fingers into, he now also writes solo music under the name CMFT. I’ll let you decipher what that stands for… His debut 2020 record proved to the world that he is more musically apt than just metal; with him experimenting with punk rock, blues rock, and more. And now, 3 years later, he returns for his sophomore record, fittingly called CMF2.
Straight away, it’s important to note that the artwork is instantly striking. A yellow ‘CMF2’ tag stands out boldly in front of a light purple background, with an array of mannequins facing the viewer. And what exactly are on those mannequins? Well, as Corey states, it’s a homage to his “immense career” – most of them are wearing Slipknot masks from eras past, and some have blank faces but are wearing what appear to be Corey’s clothes. There’s even a mannequin that has shades on and red devil horns – a nice throwback to the cover of his first book Seven Deadly Sins, a subtle nod that I, for one, found very enjoyable! To me, it’s also very reminiscent of the iconic artwork for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, which is no doubt one of Corey’s influences.
I’ll make it clear now, right from the get-go – I didn’t expect the first track The Box to be the way that it was. It starts off with a dramatic, singular thud of percussion before Corey leads in to the song playing, of all instruments, a mandolin. This may be very strange for you to read, but the result is an album introduction unlike any other, showing that CMF2 is going to be full of surprises, more so than its predecessor. The final mandolin chord rings out at the end of the track, and then there’s an eerie atmospheric noise, full of distorted sounds that you would typically hear on a Slipknot record, before leading straight into the next track, Post Traumatic Blues. The trademark screams come out of the woodwork on this track, ferociously tearing through the hard rock backing track as if it were a bullet fresh from a chamber. You just know that you’re in for a real treat as the track finishes.
His 70s punk rock roots really come through on this album too. Take the riff from Talk Sick for example, where the guitar line cuts through the speakers like a knife, as it buzz cuts its way through the intro. Or take We Are the Rest, which is a classic punk track from start to finish – beginning with a group chant over thunderous drums, before exploding into a groovy blues punk-esque tune. It’s very much a modern take on a style that would make bands of that time such as The Damned and The Buzzcocks kick themselves. And, going the other way on the musical spectrum, it’s interesting to listen to a track called Breath of Fresh Smoke – as it is definitely unlike any other song on this record. It’s acoustic driven in its introduction, and feels like a country rock song, similar to that of artists such as Morgan Wallen and Hardy; mixing country with hard rock. It’s a fine, shining example of how gentle and brilliant Corey’s lyricism can be.
The album climaxes with the 6-minute track Dead Flies, which draws a lot of mannerisms from 80s glam metal, as well as metal from the modern day as well. It’s anthemic, harmonic, and rhymthic – all things happening at once. The riff sounds like it’s come straight out of a Metallica album, before it cruises into a primitive-like verse section complete with thumping tom-toms, before it proceeds into one of the best, if not THE best, chorus on the album. “One by one, dead flies are the only thing left around you” is the tagline at the end of the chorus, a brutally harsh vision backed perfectly by his gnarling vocals. It’s a great choice for an outro and is one that will immediately make any listener want to automatically replay the entire record all over again.
In 2020, on his debut solo album, Corey proclaimed that “CMFT must be stopped” – a statement that is hilarious and very tongue-in-cheek. But it’s certainly a good thing that CMFT hasn’t been stopped, because if he had, then we wouldn’t have this incredible sophomore album. CMF2 is truly a shining example of how musically gifted Corey is and is sure to fast become a fan favourite in his extensive back catalogue. Fans of both Slipknot and Stone Sour will find a lot of things to enjoy with it, and fresh newcomers to his music now have a great place to start with this effort. So I think it goes without saying… CMF3 next, yeah?
Review – Joe Richardson
CMF2 is available 15th September via Decibel Cooper/BMG. Pre-order here
Corey Taylor CMF2 European Tour Dates
8/11 – UK, Leeds | O2 Academy Leeds
9/11 – UK, Wolverhampton | Wolves Civic
11/11 – UK, Manchester | Manchester Academy
12/11 – UK, Glasgow | O2 Academy Glasgow
14/11 – UK, London | Eventim Apollo
19/11 – France, Paris | Le Trianon
20/11 – Germany, Cologne | Palladium
22/11 – Germany, Berlin | Verti Music Hall
24/11 – The Netherlands, Tilburg | Tilburg 013
For tour and ticket information, visit: https://www.coreytaylor.com/
Photo credits – Pamela Littky