Static-X, a name synonymous with enthusiasts and casual listeners alike, continues their recently-renewed sonic onslaught with Project Regeneration: Vol 2. Following the success of their previous Vol. 1 venture and sold-out tours, the band—comprised of Tony Campos, Koichi Fukuda, Ken Jay, and Xer0—delivers an electrifying compilation featuring songs from the late founding member Wayne Static. Lucky enough to get an early listen, I'm excited to share my experience diving into this album.
"Stay Alive" kicks things off with a familiar drive and tone, letting you know exactly who you are listening to. "Zombie" is a high-octane number that demands attention; a song so gripping, it’s a guaranteed speeding ticket if played while driving. The interplay between electronic components, drums, bass, and guitars fuels a head-banging frenzy.
"Jic-Boi" maintains the album's momentum, offering a brief respite before transitioning into "Black Star," a heavy-hitting track that segues smoothly into the adrenaline-pumping "Kamikaze." Unexpectedly, "No Hope" storms in with a frantic yet oddly danceable riff, leading us into the cyberpunk-inspired realm of "Take Control," a personal favorite of mine on the album.
The initial moments of "Tone" might puzzle you, but as the song progresses, it coalesces into an explosive track. Similarly, "Run for Your Life" and "Dark Place" evoke a nostalgic throwback to the early 2000s, channeling an era equipped with JNCO pants and fishnet arm socks.
"Disco Otsego" encapsulates the essence of their self-proclaimed "Evil Disco" genre, showcasing their production finesse with familiar soundscapes and pulsating beats. Slowing down the tempo but amping up the intensity, "From Heaven" draws focus to the lyrics, paving the way for bonus tracks like the cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Terrible Lie" and "Groveryodadata," ensuring the album culminates with a bang.
I'll admit upon my first initial listen to both Project Regeneration: Vol 1 & 2 I was a bit skeptical having been an avid Static-X fan many years ago. I didn't want to be disappointed and was a bit worried that I would be, but with each album nothing could have been farther from the truth, especially Vol. 2. They are different than what I was expecting but they also plopped me right back to being a teenager with a cracked skateboard and a CD walk-man bopping his head walking down the street. It's new, but it still has a nod of nostalgia and is a breath of fresh air. Project Regeneration Vol. 2 reminded me why I fell in love with this band to begin with.
Often over time a bands sound can change so much from what we fell in love with, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I wholeheartedly recommend buying a copy of this album upon its release and adding it into your party playlists or road trip mixtape, if you still do that kind of thing, but a question does arise with this release however. What, if anything, is next for Static-X? Perhaps we will just have to wait and see, but I am here for it if they decide to work on another album.