This past June, more than a few diehard Project 86 fans may have been a bit disappointed, if not miffed, when the band's latest album, Rival Factions, went from an announced thirteen tracks to its final release of a trim ten. To make matters worse, the preorders for the album all offered something different - from free bandanas to free t-shirts and free DVD's. And whoever chose one of those was out of luck when iTunes became the only vendor offering an album b-side with purchase of their digital copy of the album. The lone bonus track? "The Kane Mutiny." Soon after the track was made available - and not for purchase by its lonesome - fans expressed their discontent with righteous indignation, and the news of follow-up EP to Rival Factions was announced.
As what can be viewed, in a way, as a little Christmas gift to their fans, Project releases The Kane Mutiny EP just two days shy of a month before Christmas. The five song EP, priced at just $4.49, also comes with a download of the band's latest music video, "Evil (A Chorus Of Resistance)," making the EP worth an extra $1.99 but at no extra cost. Just a glance at what's included reveals this release is nothing short of a bargain.
The Kane Mutiny EP kicks off with the title track, a driving rock song that never comes off feeling like an album b-side. In fact, none of the tracks that underwent the knife sound as though they wouldn't have fit on Rival Factions. While the band has said they wanted to keep the tracklisting of the record to a slim song list, the record felt short and, after hearing what has been cut from it, somewhat incomplete. "Lucretia My Reflection," the only of the three new songs included here to have been recorded specifically for this EP release, is the band's take on an original from 80's UK goth rock act, Sisters Of Mercy. On this the band's first ever cover song, Andrew Schwab's vocals are a perfect compliment to the original's, with the song offering much of the kind of dark 80's rock influence that served as the groundwork laid for Rival Factions. "Rte. 66" is the final new track, opening with a drum roll and moody bass line in what unfolds as yet another lost gem from Factions. The final of the three tracks sliced off the original thirteen, "Digital Dreams," sadly doesn't appear this time around. Instead, two industrial-flavored remixes of two selections from their 2005 record, ...And The Rest Will Follow cap off the EP. Both tracks first appeared as streams on MySpace about a year ago but were never made available to the public until now. The first, a deliciously aggressive industrial take on "Something We Can't Be" by Joey of The Echoing Green, is the first of two examples of how fantastic remixes can sound. Project's own guitar wizard Randy Torres gives "From December" a haunting revisitation, fueled by a slow, fuzzy beat and dramatic guitars. The mix appropriately ends the EP with a satisfying conclusion, yet leaves the listener with a healthy excitement for more. With the right talent and song choices, an EP or entire album devoted to Project 86 remixes may have incredible results if these tracks are any indication.
The Kane Mutiny EP serves as not only a worthy follow-up to their Summer release, but as a near-perfect companion to the record. It's more or less the right way to offer fans a "deluxe edition" of the album without making them re-purchase the whole album all over again for the bonus content. Other bands and labels might want to take a few pointers for the way this EP was handled. In fact, we insist.- Review date: 11/27/07, written by John DiBiase
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