Search This Blog

Monday, July 24, 2017

Project 86 -- 15. Live


In 2010, Project 86 ended the weirdest, most mysterious phase of their career with a live album performed by an anonymous band. I'm not exaggerating on the "weird" part. Project 86 recorded five albums with the same four members, announced the departure of their drummer, recorded another album, and then...the guitarist and the bassist left the band to no announcement. An album, Picket Fence Cartel, was recorded with the vocalist, maybe the bassist, and several anonymous players. And then, for some reason, remaining member Andrew Schwab decided this would be the perfect time for Project 86 to release their first live album.
I'll get this out of the way first: 15. Live is an extremely enjoyable live album, featuring rousing hard rock performances of a greatest hits melange from six of the seven albums Project 86 had released up to this point. It's an extremely fun listen, and I've spun it plenty of times. The instruments are incredibly clear in the mix, and Schwab's vocals sound solid. I love the song selection, even though it would have been nice to add just one number from the self-titled debut (it's the only album not represented here). The song order flows together almost perfectly. But who the heck is being called Project 86 here?
The album artwork features awesome stylized portraits of Andrew Schwab on vocals, a faceless guitarist, a faceless bassist, and a faceless drummer. It also notes that the album was recorded on the band's summer 2010 tour, but doesn't list any shows, making it even more difficult to pinpoint who is performing here. It's so strange that Schwab would not only want to record a live album at this moment in the band's careet, but name it after the amount of years Project 86 have been making music, when the guys who wrote all that music are no longer in the band...then again, he wrote all of these lyrics, and I'm sure he wrote them in a Project 86 headspace. He may feel just as much ownership for the songs as the original musicians.
For a fan, 15. Live is a strange, conflicting experience. This is one of my favorite bands because of the contributions of each member...all but one of those members are gone...and yet, this album sounds great. I really enjoy it. Two years later, this juxtaposition of emotions would only become more stark.

2010 Team Black
1. Sincerely, Ichabod 4:31
2. Safe Haven 3:29
3. Oblivion 4:09
4. The Butcher 3:03
5. Last Meal 3:50
6. Me Against Me 3:34
7. SMC 3:03
8. Illuminate 3:02
9. Evil 3:05
10. Destroyer 4:51
11. Stein's Theme 4:15
12. The Spy Hunter 4:20

No comments: