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
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