Project 86 have done well in making a name for themselves. They've become known for their hard-hitting hardcore/metal and brutally honest lyrics. Their brilliant 2000 sophomore release, Drawing Black Lines solidified them as one of the best of their genre and promised only a bright future for the band. In 2002, Project 86 releases the dark yet irresistible Truthless Heroes as they move forward musically and lyrically.
"The idea of the record Truthless Heroes," explains vocalist Andrew Schwab in an interview featured on the CD, "is kind of a thirteen-song story about a character who starts out as a child -- kind of ignored by his peers and his family a little bit, or he feels that way -- and he channels that energy, that self-loathing into pursuing greatness. The journey of the album takes you through his attempts to gratify himself and fill his deepest needs as a person through fame, fortune, lust, whatever. It's kind of a tragic Shakespearean story because it doesn't necessarily have a happy resolution." Schwab's lyrical approach to Heroes appears a lot different in comparison to Black Lines as hope isn't as easy to find on Heroes as their previous efforts. Musically, however, Heroes is a more accessible album. Schwab applies more melodies to his vocals via layers and vocal style giving it a catchier, more infectious feel. Almost each track is fused with enough power and rhythm to leave the lyrics resonating within the walls of your mind for days after hearing the songs. There isn't a weak song in the bunch which makes Heroes a joy to listen to. From the angst-ridden screams of "Little Green Men" to the quasi-worshipful "Team Black," Heroes is a locomotive unable to be stopped.
The one major drawback that hinders the album is the overbearing negativity flooding nearly every track. The album takes a realistic approach with each song that does anything but bring hope or encouragement to the listener. Whether it's lyrics like "I don't need anybody, I don't need anyone, I don't need your guidance home" or "Faith is buying me away/ Buying me a way/ to convert the masses into little servants," positivity is absent on Truthless Heroes. But is that intentional? "I don't want to be known or remembered as a positive band," Schwab insists, "but as a band that was sort of honest and had a quiet sense of hope within the cold reality of the world around us. Because the world is a tough place..."
Heroes is a brutally honest record that points fingers at the media and entertainment industry, exposing the harsh realities of life. It's musically delicious record that is at the same time thought-provoking. If you're looking for hard-driving tunes seasoned with melodies, Project 86's Truthless Heroes is a must-have -- just don't expect to find encouragement.- Review date: 9/23/02, written by John DiBiase
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