Quick Note: This album should not be in the Nu-Metal genre.
Project 86 is by now quite the veteran band. They started out in the Christian Hardcore scene and their first two albums were very popular in this genre. Their self-titled album was well received, and then their second album "Drawing Black Lines" is still considered by many to be their best work to date. "Drawling Black Lines" while labeled rapcore at the time, was solid hard core with some Christian influences. After this album, Atlantic signed them to a major deal, and they released my favorite album of theirs, "Truthless Heroes". TH is a concept album where the main character rises and then crashes through mainstream culture. This album, though embracing popular nu-metal elements of the day, was not well-received by Atlantic or the public. Atlantic dropped them, and they released their next album, "Songs To Burn Your Bridges By" without a label. It was loudier and angrier and a bit punkish, and was not as popular with fans.
After all the tumult, they have finally settled down with their original label and released their 5th album, "... And The Rest Will Follow" which returns sonically to the Drawing Black Lines era. If you were a fan of the nu-metal/punkish Project 86 era, this album is not for you, unless you are a dedicated fan.
If you are unfamiliar with Project, they sound like a unique version of a hardcore band. They are quite inventive, and while not sounding that much like Tool, they garner many comparisons due to the structure of rhythm and riffs in their songs. They are also frequently compared to Chevelle, but I think this comparison is not valid, at least for this album. The sound of an album changes so much from song to song that it is difficult to pidgeonhole them to one or two main influences.
This album is harder than most of their recent work, and a greater emphasis on the rhythm and guitar work. While lead singer Andrew Schwab is an excellent hardcore vocalist, I enjoy hearing him sing melodies, which he is also capable of, but melodies are in short supply on this album. By the end of the disc, espcially on "Wordsmith Legacy" the screaming gets monotonous. However, if you enjoy his style, their is a lot of variety in the music and rhythm to keep the vocals interesting. Project 86 is also known for inciteful lyrics; many people say that the songs are poetic, and this is not surprising since Andrew wrote a book of poetry. The band has dropped the Christian angle, and now just writes philosophical lyrics.
While there are no clear radio tracks-- this is not a commercial album, they aren't going to be getting mainstream attention from this disc-- most of the songs are quite good. This is getting long, so I won't review every song in detail. However, certainly download "All of Me", which is the first single and most clearly representitive of how the disc sounds. Crunching guitars and excellent screaming define this song.
"Something We Can't Be" is the latest single, and shows a lighter side to Project that was unheard since "Bottom Feeder" on Truthless Heroes. The whole song is sung, not screamed, and Andrew's singing voice is pleasant to listen to. A pleasant thirty second guitar intro introduces this track and then reappears in the bridge, but the drums are unpredictable and aggressive over the rest of the track. This is my favorite, and shows that a good hardcore band can also mellow out for a track or two.
The next three songs are weak, largely because they run together and follow similar song structures. This is what makes this album a 4 for me and not a 5, which Truthless Heroes is for me. I even have to skip "My Will Be A Dead Man" since the lyrics are strange and unpleasant, and the whole song is done in a grating scream.
"From December" gets the album back on track with a creepy atmospheric introduction and then sombre quietly sung lyrics before the vocals and drums explode into a cacophony on noise, all without losing the atmosphere of the intro. The song then proceeds to go from sombre/atmospheric to loud and aggressive over and over. This song is a 5 minute epic, and I really am not doing it justice. Please download this one, if it is the only one you try.
The rest of the album is solid but unremarkable. "Cavity King" is the most interesting of the material, packing a 5 minute musical experience into 3 and a half minutes of intensity.
Overall, I love this album, but it drags in the middle. There are quite a few long songs that start to sound similar at times. The good is truly excellent however, and "Something We Can't Be" and "From December" are among the best songs of 2005. The production quality is up from their last effort--this album sounds good turned up loud. The rhythms have gotten more unpredictable, and the songs are more complex then those found on "Songs To Burn Your Bridges By" Now, if they would just bring back a bit more melody on their next effort, they could get another 5 from me.
Get this if you like hard rock of any kind. Get "Truthless Heroes" first if you like more melody and less screaming in hard rock.
If you have any constructive criticism of my review, please post it here. To any mods--please tell me what to fix before deleting my review as happened to my Hoobastank--Every Man For Himself review, which was my first ever. Deleting a review does not help me improve future efforts.
Okay first of all, P86 is not nor have they ever been "hardcore". Atreyu, Underoath, As I Lay Dying, those are hardcore bands. Not Project 86.
--Second, you say the three songs after "Something We Can't Be" aren't that good, listen to them again. "Subject to Change" and "Necktie Remedy" are both great.
---Third, they will always be a Christian band. Listen to "All of Me", "Something We Can't Be" and "Subject to Change" again. The Christian elements are never very obvious but definitely there.
---Don't ever recommend "Truthless Heroes". The whole album was an attempt to get rich, and the band did not want to make an album sounding like that. Read Andrew's book It's All Downhill From Here if you need proof. I liked the album, but never recommend a band's worst album.
---Of course the lyrics are poetic. Andrew is the best songwriter I've ever heard. The lyrics to "My Will Be a Dead Man" are good and there is singing in the chorus
Since I kinda tore the review apart I'd have to say I didn't like it. Amazing album though
Okay, first of all, 'hardcore' seems a pretty useful description of the sound on this album to me.
--Second, you say that the three songs after 'Something We Can't Be' are actually quite good, listen to them again, they're not really. (see what I did there? see what I did?)
--Third, the members of the band are Christians, yet the Christian influence on this album is muted enough to be ignored.
--Don't ever tell someone what albums they can and cannot recommend. If he likes the album and thinks that people who like this album would also like Truthless Heroes, then he can go ahead and recommend the hell out of it. I trust you don't need reminding that not everyone may agree with your assessment of TH as Project's worst album.
-- Of course the - oh, wait, your last point is simply a lame, lame attempt to bash the reviewer's intelligence. Silly me.
This is a solid review. If I were to suggest anything I'd tell you to try and drop the 'this-happens-then-this-happens' style of song review and instead try to describe the song overall - still use detail, but an overview of what happens in a song isn't very useful. You were halfway there with your description of From December, but then you let helpful initial information become part of a list of parts of the song.
Also you could work on some kind of a logical flow to your writing, since the review felt kind of messy at times. Also USE A SPELL CHECK :P
Good effort; you get a pos vote from me and a thumb. :thumb:
Great review, MUCH better than the othe ...And The Rest Will Follow review...thanks for telling it like it is. However, the only beef I had with it was that My Will Be A Dead Man is actually a pretty decent song.
You also called on Cavity King, my favorite track from this record. Automatic thumbs up.
Hmm . . . I find it interesting that you found tracks 5-7 to be the album's worst when I found them to be their best (and I am a huge fan of the band, BTW). You give no insightful reasoning as to why they're the weakest beyond "they run together and follow similar song structures." Huh? In what way does Necktie Remedy sound ANYTHING like Subject to Change or My Will Be a Dead Man, and the latter is a very unique song unlike any others the band has done. It achieves marching war beat with it's deliberate pace and the lyrics invoke western imagery of a shootout (the lyrics clearly want you to see such imagery).
The song may not be very good from a purely technical, instrumental standpoint, but this is done intentionally to create an effect. Truly good music is so much more than variety of notes, pitches, and timbres. Music becomes art when it paints a picture through sound, invokes a genuine emotional response, or both. This song accomplishes the first.
Necktie Remedy is a powerful song about addiction that evokes a VERY strong emotional response out of anybody who has had addiction in their life. The verses are sung with a genuine depressive feeling, which the music matches perfectly, then moves into a desperate cry for help. Andrew is at his best when you can tell he deeply and profoundly feels what he's singing, and that is definitely true of this song.
I also find it interesting that you pointed out Cavity King as a positive spot in the album, considering it is very similar in sound to Songs to Burn Your Bridges by, which you seem to think is their weakest album (their weakest is their first, BTW).
I have found that on these boards, it is common for people to praise songs that display great technical prowess, while many of the simpler songs that aim straight for the heart are less liked. I believe this is because most people here are musically inclined, but it is the same mistake many filmmakers make. When you are a professional, one often gets caught up in technical skill and forgets what is truly the most important . . . the heart and soul of your art. The world's greatest songs are the ones that go straight inside of us and bring us to a transcendent state.
So, in short, I agree with the ranking of this album (4/5), but I completely disagree on the details of most of the review. In fact, our opinions on it seem to be polar opposites.
Project are my all time favorite band. This album is great. Not as good as Drawin Black Lines, but right up there. Saw them play a few years back, they rip your face off and make you happy that they did it. Look forward to the new album later in June 07.
This review is one of the most ass backwards reviews I've read in a long time. I won't even go into the differing of opinions on what you think is good/bad. You say way to many things that directly contradict themselves like:
"While there are no clear radio tracks-- this is not a commercial album" - So no radio hits but you feel the need to say it's not commercial, still? really?
"and while not sounding that much like Tool, they garner many comparisons due to the structure of rhythm and riffs in their songs." - So wait.. they don't sound like Tool or they do? (They don't, not in the slightest)
"Overall, I love this album, but it drags in the middle." - Look the reason for a review is to give a clear representation of what you think about the music but it just seems like you haven't a clue how to do this and you're completely undecided on the whole thing so you offer 4 or 5 opinions on the album.
This band is not hardcore nor are they numetal, why do people feel the need to label everything thing, they're just rock, leave it at that. Christ almighty.
This Message Edited On 05.15.09
I've always thought that they sounded like P.O.D. mixed with Black Flag with a few creepy atmospheric things so I would agree with the hardcore/nu-metal label. And those bands listed as hardcore (underoath, atreyu etc) are not hardcore they are metalcore. Hardcore is a genre of punk. The review was okay, I think it reads more like a 3 though. I'm a big fan of these guys and own their full discography.