Review Summary: A tribute worthy of the hype.
For the first time in nearly a decade, Tony Campos and the remaining original members of Static-X have made it a great time to be a fan of the band again. Unlike the ennui that came from Grey Daze’s attempts at serving up a worthy posthumous album for their fans a couple of weeks ago, Project Regeneration Vol. 1
actually serves up a much more consistent and legitimately worthwhile entry for the Static-X canon. In fact, with the way the band have handled this entire project, I can’t think of many people who have gone to the same degrees of delivering to both the fans and the deceased artist like Campos and co. have here. It’s all been well thought out, built up and executed in an organic and cathartic way. The massive tour they did prior to this release, with the enigmatic Xer0 as their frontman – which caused a point of contention as the elusive singer sported a worn out, grey mask which resembled Wayne Static’s face – was a well-received starting point for this whole thing, but the accretive hype and marketing for this very album has been admirably tasteful and well developed on the whole. More than that, it’s just nice to see that through all the trials and tribulations the band have been through, the original line-up has decided to come together and pay tribute to Wayne in the most noble way possible.
However, let’s be clear before proceeding: this isn’t an earth-shattering opus or a genre-defining reconstruction of the genre itself, and the point to be made here is that it never needed to be either of those things. No, like any posthumous release, all Project Regeneration Vol. 1
had to do was represent the very best attributes of what made Static-X so great to begin with. This mantra has clearly been taken seriously and as such, Project Regeneration Vol. 1
displays the comportment needed to be a truly defining record ‘for the fans’
. More surprisingly still, not only does this album achieve such status with ease, it actually triumphs as being one of the band’s strongest works to date. The LP is a concise slab of retro industrial metal with a number of adorable creature-feature styled electronic samples akin to Rob Zombie’s modus operandi, as well as a hearkening back to the kind of vintage 80s samples Ministry or Skinny Puppy would have played with back in the day. The biggest accolade, however, goes to the band’s handling on these archived vocal recordings. It’s hard to really grasp the fact that these recordings came from rough demo ideas just prior to Wayne’s death or from various recordings from circa 2005; every song here feels and sounds like a top-tier Static-X track built from the ground up.
Despite the fact this record sounds extremely novel, perching itself in the sonic vacuum of the early 00s, it’s acutely fleshed out, cohesive and more importantly, ferociously fun. There are so many classic Static-X staples here: from the clinical cyberpunk backdrops, to the bone-grinding, syncopated stomping rhythms and signature staccato barks Wayne’s known for unleashing. Tracks like “Bring You Down”, “Hollow” and “My Destruction” deliver on all the excessive sillinesses of the aforementioned era, but the compositions themselves also bring a serious amount of contemporary heaviness to the table, making a track like “Otsego Placebo” a worthwhile entry number for newcomers of the band. It’s rare you stumble across a release of this kind with such a standard of quality – a record that actually goes above and beyond the call of duty. Credit is certainly due to the fact it knows exactly what it wants and executes such tasks with uncompromising efficiency. If you’re a fan of Static-X, this is a candid labour of love that moves away from the stigma these releases are known for. It might not be reinventing the wheel, and it may sound like a time capsule dug up from the nu-metal burial ground, but for fans of that time period or fans of the band, there’s no denying its charm. If volume one is anything to go by, volume two can’t come soon enough.
SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: