Project 86 follows their angst-ridden and bitter effort Songs To Burn Your Bridges By
with the drastically more optimistic ...And The Rest Will Follow. Reuniting the band with
producer GGGarth, who worked on their most successful album Drawing Black Lines, Project 86
allows room for more experimentation and exploration with ...And The Rest Will Follow.
Those who have followed the band's career over the past nine years, are probably familiar with Project 86's
label struggles and contract disputes, as well as their frustrations with the church. Since the ventings
that Burn Your Bridges contained (which was mostly penned and recorded independently in 2003
and then re-released with extra tracks on Tooth & Nail last year), the band has admittedly grown a lot
spiritually and has refocused their goals, trying to return to what they had begun as -- a band to reach youth.
...And The Rest Will Follow is diverse and somewhat schizophrenic in style. While previous records
followed a consistent dark and intense musical direction, ...And The Rest Will Follow is more varied.
The album opens with one of the band's most ferocious songs to date, "Sincerely, Ichabod," declaring new times
and a new season for the band. The first line of the song brilliantly addresses their most popular record
and reminds listeners that they're only looking ahead to the future, "We once drew some lines in black, and right
now it's about time we took them back." "All Of Me" follows, immediately slowing down the momentum of
the album, but offering a more harmonic and melodic approach that Truthless Heroes touched on, but
lost in the despair of that album's theme. While vocalist and chief songwriter Andrew Schwab has always
written poetic and rather cryptic lyrics, ...And The Rest Will Follow really isn't any different.
But "All Of Me" offers a sort of prayer of surrender, which follows perfectly the message of "Sincerely, Ichabod."
Schwab is also more versatile in his vocal delivery than ever before, as he ranges from the deep growls in the
verses from "Ichabod," to his signature screams on "Subject To Change," to the harmonies on songs like
"All Of Me" and "Doomsday Stomp."
While ...And The Rest Will Follow undeniably remains a hard rock record, the album as a whole
feels somewhat repressed compared to their past efforts. Several of the songs are noticeably more mellow in
nature, relying on the solemn mood of some of the music, coupled with Schwab's contemplative lyrics. "Something
We Can't Be" is reserved from start to finish while "Necktie Remedy" is dark and desperate and the title
track is a brief electronic beat-driven ballad. But the band's edgy energy pumps through the veins of
the entire record regardless. "Subject To Change," which is the fifth song on the band's fifth album, serves
as an anthem for the band's return to what they once had started years ago. "My Will Be A Dead Man," one
of the most unique tracks on the album, is a hard rock song that's driven by a Alex Albert's pounding drums
and a savory guitar riff from Randy Torres. "From December" is a sentimental and beautifully written tribute
to a lost loved one that is saturated with hope for the day of being reunited with them in heaven.
Schwab nearly whispers the emotional verses and mixes screams and harmonies into the chorus, "You were always
there to rescue me from December... In my mind's eye, I see you next to me as I'm on my knees. It's in
this place that you showed me how to ask eternity for shelter, for comfort, for relief..." While
anger, frustration, and often hopelessness has served as the groundwork for the band's most recent releases,
there's a deeper complexity to ...And The Rest Will Follow that makes this album really stand out.
Project 86 is a band that has been able to withstand the test of time in almost a decade of making music.
They have continuously been able to relatively push the boundaries of their songwriting creatively and with successful results.
A more melodic effort as a whole, some fans will undoubtedly have trouble embracing the less angry, less brutal
approach, but ...And The Rest Will Follow is easily one of the best things the band has done yet.
This album only further piques my interest as to what will follow in the future from this incredible hard rock band...
- Review date: 9/24/05, written by John DiBiase