REVIEW: Static X - Project Regeneration Volume 1.
Static X officially split in 2013 prior to the untimely death of founder and characterful frontman, Wayne Static, the following year. This album is a hotch-potch of Wayne's solo demos, unfinished songs at various stages of completion, and miscellaneous re-discovered work that includes the late singer's vocals. Moreover, while the original line-up are all involved in this project along with extant Wayne Static recordings, an unidentified replacement vocalist has also been enlisted for additional tracks and touring. This might sound messy but the product is a cogent, consistent and complimentary to the band's archive.
Static X were arguably lauded and derided in equal measure with their brand of manic, high velocity industrial rock - crisper than Ministry or Skinny Puppy but with more goofy elements - and unable to completely disassociate from the nu-metal era from whence they emerged. All the above is evident in this collection which plunges straight into the band's heyday.
Hollow (Project Regeneration) is replete with the unmistakable industrial compressor staccato riffs and regimented hysterical screams while the catchy nu metal chorus of Worth Dying For is off-set by an eerie, ominous cyber-space backdraft. Terminator Oscillator is a classic fidgety piece of machine gun blast riffs and mechanized drumming. All These Years with cyber-sampled effects (some of which are - incredibly - reminiscent of Calvin Harris' Acceptable in the 80's) could fit with any of the band's strongest albums. There is perhaps a very slight mid-album dip (Accelerate ironically slows down) but this unique style is difficult to keep up relentlessly and the momentum is dialled up again with the likes of the rabid My Destruction and Otsego Placebo. The inimitable Al Jourgensen lends his rasped vocals to album closer Dead Souls.
The material for Project Regeneration (Volume 1) was disparate but the album has been assembled coherently and avoids sounding like a cobbled together nostalgic potboiler. Wayne Static's vocals and work have been partly retrieved posthumously but this feels very much his own input and the crazed, AI assembly line soundtrack is just as demented as their early records.