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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Project 86's "'Let's sing along and dance' experience"
When Andrew Schwab talked to me about the album, he mentioned something very peculiar: "It's much different sound-wise. We never want to make the same album twice, so evolution is a good thing. The instrument sounds are much different and, vocally, it's much more melodic. The energy is less of a 'let's mosh and punch people' and more of a 'let's sing along and dance'...
Published on June 20, 2007 by J. R. Morales

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars My Least Favorite Project 86 Album
PROJECT 86 is a very good and talented band, but this just happens to be their worst album to date. Only two songs are good, and they are PUT YOUR LIPS TO THE TV and PULL ME CLOSER VIOLENT DANCER. The rest is just very stale and mediocre, except for SLAVES TO LIBERTY, which is unlistenable on every possible level ever (whose idea was it to put those shrieking noises...
Published 4 months ago by SimbaFan4


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Project 86's "'Let's sing along and dance' experience", June 20, 2007
By 
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
When Andrew Schwab talked to me about the album, he mentioned something very peculiar: "It's much different sound-wise. We never want to make the same album twice, so evolution is a good thing. The instrument sounds are much different and, vocally, it's much more melodic. The energy is less of a 'let's mosh and punch people' and more of a 'let's sing along and dance' experience. Don't get me wrong - we love it when people mosh and punch each other. We just took a bit different approach this time."

Andrew is right. This is definitely different from earlier Project 86 releases. The beats are much more straight-up and there's significantly much more singing on Andrew's part than any of their previous albums. If you're looking for the hard-and-dark Project 86 from "Drawing Black Lines" and "Truthless Heroes", you're likely to be unimpressed by this album.

If we HAVE to compare this release to their previous releases, you can expect to find the Project 86 from the other five albums in the first three tracks - almost as if to make the progression a bit more welcomed - but the rest of the album is a somewhat different Project 86. For example, the instruments are often effected and, personally, this is the first time that I've heard P86 mention "dancing" in an album. On most of the songs, however, yo will definitely find yourself bobbing your head to the addictive rhythms. Lyrically, however, this album is not as deep and as in-your-face as the rest of the albums. The production and quality, though, is unmatched - a fantastic mix and brilliant arrangement.

Overall, this is probably the most mainstream release and radio-friendly album that P86 has produced. I love how they're always trying to reinvent themselves. Don't miss it!

NOTE:
I have to say that the packaging of the album is fantastic! It's completely interactive and incredibly original. If you can, buy the album and refrain from downloading it - it's an experience all by itself!

Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and I like it..., June 26, 2007
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
I was surprised like everyone else (no one saw this coming believe me) when I heard some of the new tracks and the samples. After listening to the cd one time through I discovered how creative, catchy and intense the songs were. It was still Project 86, but totally evolved. Things that you hardly hear in other Project albums such as lots of synth, guitar solo's, alternate vocals (lots of singing but also high pitch screeching which I have never heard Andrew Schwab do, awesome).

Here is my appreciation of the songs individually:

Evil 10/10: The first time I heard this songs I thought I was listening to Queens of the Stone Age, and apart from the synth solo it it is reminiscent of their sound. The groovy rythm and atmosphere of this song are wat make it really good. If you listen to it too much, believe me it will not leave your head. What works really well is that in the chorus you hear two vocals: one singing the melody while the other voice shouts the lyrics.

Put your lips to the TV 8/10: After the deceptive and cheesy piano intro (did I forget to add that there is a lot of humor on this album and it's not only in the lyrics ;-)) the song kicks off with an old-school guitar riff, followed by a more typical Project 86 verse after which the incredibly catchy chorus grabs you by the throat with beautifully desperate sounding vocals from Schwab. To top it off we hear a solo from Randy that sounds pretty basic but works very well in the song as a bridge.

The Forces of Radio have thrown a viper into the rythem section 10/10: This song is awesome lyrically and musically. The things that stand out on this track are the drums, they build up really well to the different parts of the song and Andrews vocals are the best on the album, including aggressive gnarling and snarling in the verse and gut wrenching vocals in the verse.

Molotov 7/10: This song is good although it is not my favorite on the album. The coolest thing about the song is the 'Truthless Heroes-esque' lyrics that criticize modern culture for being all about the party and less about what counts in life. The keyboards play a big role in this song and are always haunting in the background and sometimes on the foreground. The song has a cool ending with Schwab adding extra vocal layers over the melody giving it a very full sound.

Slaves to Liberty 9/10: The lyrics are incredibly positive and kind of remind me crazily enough of 'Lean on Me' but the rock version haha. Again we have a very retro-rock intro riff. I especially like th driving bass on this one. The best way to listen to it is driving on the highway at full speed, you will not be able to stop. Lots of energy and groovy rythm are the signature of this song.

Pull me closer, Violent Dancer 8/10: Think "My Will Be a Dead Man" but then with synthesizers. The vocals are creepy in this song and the synth effect in the chorus sounds like they ripped it off of a classic horror movie. I love the way the synths and guitar blend into a melancholic and dreamy cocktail. The synths are the highlight of this song all around.

Illuminate 6/10: This song is not bad in fact it's really catchy, but it does not possess the intenseness of the other songs. I wouldn't call it a filler but it is the one song that I'm still not incredibly excited over although it does grow on you.

The Sanctuary Hum 9/10: The verse of this song sounds like something that fits well into the Truthless Heroes era, which I really liked. The opening riff actually reminds me of Projects first cd a little. The vocals first sound like what Schwabs voice evolved to on ...And the rest will follow. The verse has Randy and Schwab dueting to a very mellow and dark background. This song is about abuse, church and truth an explosive mixture but then again Project 86 is never afraid of venting thir opinions. Expecially the lyrics in the chorus are very provacative: "God save us, from your chosen ones" It srips in sarcasm and yearning for justice. Beautiful.

Caveman Jam 10/10: When I first heard the name of this song I thought it was a joke, but when i saw it on the actual tracklisting I freaked. Now a little while later it is my favorite song. The fuzzy guitars, the sarcastic lyrics, the high pitched synth building up just before the chorus and erupting into a sonically eery sound, the rythmically hammering vocals in the verse. I'm not a dancer but I can easily see a room go crazy on this vibe and at the same time I could see a rockers rocking out to it, it's that versatile.

Normandy 8/10: This song is again very different from the other songs. The lyrics are some of the best on the album. It is very melodic and not really in your face. It is a cool closer and very fitting for the album.

Verdict:
If you are a closeminded hardcore fan then don;t buy this, but if you like music and are open to innovation you will like this because it is a product of craftmansship. It is a little on the short side but the catchiness and groove of the songs compensate that. The album on the whole has some outstanding songs on it and despite some songs not being perfect the album is because they fit so well together.
This is retro-rock meets hardcore meets synths meets 80s.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...and the rest will continue to follow...., July 2, 2007
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This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
Project 86. Long time listener, long time review writer. To put it bluntly this band has a butt that just won't quit. The band has taken me through a surge of rabid emotions through their long career. They have surprised me, bored me, and come back to win me over time and time again. I enjoyed "..and the rest will follow" but something was missing. It seemed to pale in comparison to the emotionally charged "Songs to burn your bridges by." Rival Factions took me completely by surprise with its electronically charged synth beats. Andrew's blatantly melodic vocal rhythms. Its almost as if this was the record "truthless heroes" aspired to be. A more accessible sound that didn't sacrifice so many of the bands excellent sounds.

The band is comforable with their new found ability to go almost anywhere at this point. You can always count on Andrews deeply meaningful lyrics which range from political, sarcastic, humerous, and allegorical. With every listen this record is villianously infectious. It's guilt free 80s inspired dark synth metal for the masses as only Project 86 can bring it. The perfect record for new fans. Even for a band on their 6th release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is that synth I hear?, June 21, 2007
By 
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
Rival Factions proves that all there is lying between Anberlin and Marilyn Manson is a thin layer of makeup.

While no new fans will be won over by their technical prowess, those who have long written off Project 86 for being too heavy or too aggressive could pleasantly surprised by the Cure-like elements of "Molotov", the tongue-in-cheek horror of "Pull Me Closer, Violent Dancer", or the pensive closer, "Normandy". "Sanctuary Hum" proves to be the emphatic, epic center of the album, not coincidentally with a chorus proclaiming that "This is the reason..." The rock fans who have long supported Project thru their rap-rock, defiant concept albums, self-releases, and the like will likely continue their support because they are not going to be shocked by much of any direction the band takes (though this could possibly test those limits...no "Stein" or "Ichabod" to be found here).

RF provides a playing field for Andrew Schwab's typical gambit of personal, social, and ecumenical criticism (and cynicism) in ways that Project's past releases have not. Aggression steps aside for attitude in this surprisingly synth-happy rock record. Moments of their past, distant or recent, are difficult to locate, though Schwab's personal faithful to his rants and poetry will be the ones least taken by surprise. The catchy lead single, "Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)" is perhaps the closest link to the Project 86 that you're accustomed to...and that's even a loose link. Schwab is less attached to his scream here and replaces it with tilt-your-head-forward baritone range melodies at times, and previously unheard singing shrieks at others. Though not a great singer, he makes up for any pitch problems with passion and creates more mood through his boundless energy and well-shaped, clever lyrics.

The packaging itself makes the cd worth the buy. Don Clark (Asterik Studios, Invisible Creature) got hold of this one (the unfolding machine on "...And The Rest Will Follow" as well) and here has created the OK Computer for cereal boxes, complete with hidden messages and capitalist propaganda. The concept recalls Tool's 10,000 Days, but you don't need the glasses with this one. If you have it, you know what I'm talking about...it's a clever layout.

Regardless of whatever may be said of them, Project can never be blamed for attempting the same release twice. RF is no exception; it emphasizes their will and dedication to pushing their own limits, and does so with solid pop style and blazing attitude.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Project 86's best yet!!!, June 20, 2007
By 
Mark (Oregon City, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
Wow! I have to admit, when I first heard 'Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)', I was a little worried for this album... I still don't care for that song so much, but the rest of Rival Factions is an amazing album. Considering that Project 86 lost their drummer (one of my favorite drummers of all time) who had provided the percussion on all of their previous albums, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Well, when Project 86 recruits a drummer, they don't mess around. The guy who plays on this CD is amazing! He dives into some double-kicking here and there and really drives the rhythm. The band also got very creative with synth and keyboard parts, making them featured instruments on several songs (most notably on Sanctuary Humm, Illuminate, and Normandy. Their use of synth, in synch with Randy Torres' prolific and eclectic guitar playing gives this album a lot of diversity, and yet that trademark Project 86 intensity is constant. Andrew Scwhab, ever a capable frontman and intense singer, has expanded his vocal range greatly on this album. He screams, he sings... he bobs and weaves in whatever direction best fits the music his bandmates serve up. Like nearly every P86 album before, this album has moments where it seems to reminisc of all 5 of it's predescessors, but this is also Project 86's most unique album to date. Rival Factions stands alone and to me, it is their best yet.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this album is great... another stretch for DBL fans, June 19, 2007
By 
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
project 86 has done it once again...
and this thing they have done is redefining their sound.

I was hooked on this band in their early years for their straightforward and almost non-stop rhythm attacks musically and lyrically on my ears and on my senses... DRAWING BLACK LINES will always be an album that I hold dear to my heart.

then they lost a lot of listeners and gained a whole new audience with "truthless heroes"... no longer the "in your face" band... they instead mixed melodies and singing but, in my opinion, still had the same "in your face" approach, just it was more melodic...

since then project 86 has been striving to release albums that stand out from what the norm of the "music scene" has been delivering.

with this new album "rival factions" they have done that once again. 10 tracks that sound like Project 86 but not like any other band. In some places the vocals are a bit reminiscent of Marilyn Manson, but the music and the delivery of said vocals would never make you think "is this MM?"

Andrew, P86's singer, was once compared a lot with Zach from Rage... so being compared to Manson now is just a testament in how much they have grown...
this album is awesome
for those not expecting an album anything like "and the rest will follow"

some tracks like the main single "evil: a chorus of resistance" are hooky pop-rock songs that still have enough throttle and scream in them to appease fans of heavy music... and then there are tracks like "the forces of radio" which is a old school punk meets off time guitar riffs approach to the pounding sound that older fans of P86 will love!

in short
if you grew with P86 you'll love this
if you want a record that does not sound like anything else you have...
GET IT NOW
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Project 86 Whips Out The Synths, Fans Cower At Mad Display Of Awesomness!, October 12, 2008
By 
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
I must admit that I was disappointed when listening to "Rival Factions" for the first time. I was also disappointed the second and third time. ::Sniff:: "What happened to Project 86?" I cried, "This doesn't sound like Truthless Heroes..."

I listened to the album a fourth time and something clicked.

The songs are groovy. They are dance worthy. They are compulsion inducing. I cower at the awesome display of infectious synth rhythms and beg forgiveness. Project 86 crafts one of the best albums of the year and it takes four listens to hit me like a bucket of bricks.

The trick is not comparing "Rival Factions" to past albums. You must embrace the synth rock, and then give it a big back rub. Honestly, I now believe it to be their finest work after "Truthless Heroes". In conclusion, Project 86 whips out the synths and demands you get off your skinny @$$ and dance like a crazy man. Highly Recommended, as well as "The Kane Mutiny EP" on iTunes, which acts as a sister album to "Rival Factions".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated, under appreciated, but it's good., April 1, 2012
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
For some reason Project 86 decided to go a completely different direction with this CD. But before I go into that, a history lesson is in order.

History:
Having first taken an invested interest in P86 (ie I started buying their CDs) with "...and the Rest Will Follow" I had grown to love their style. The heavy guitars, the incredibe drumming, and the dark brooding lyrics, it was the type of music that seemed so much like the secular that I hadn't paid much attention to it. When I did, I found out just how spiritual these songs were. The way that Andrew Schwab delivers his lyrics is incredible. Like Edgar Allen Poe, something that thousands will read/hear and not understand. But for the few who do it's amazing. To me it was Andrew Schwab's roar/screaming talent. He didn't just do it for a song to sound hard, or anthem(ish). He uses his voice in the most brutal yet awe-inspiring ways. And what's more he could do it repeatedly with a large amounts of variation. "... and the Rest Will Follow" was (and still is) a highlight of just how talented he is. The gutteral scream of passion was on every track.

It sounded like a garunteed staple of every CD(and every song) they would ever make or that I'd ever buy from them. In fact upon hearing much of "Truthless Heroes" and buying the follow-up "Songs to Burn Your Bridges By"** that turned out to be what it was. The staple and I was impressed at Andrew Schwab's range. There's singers who just scream for the heck of it. And it gets old and repetitive. Then there's singers who can scream in a way it completes the track. It's not an extra fun 'gizmo'. It's the core of the song. And it's not incessant but structured. Like an instrument. That's Andrew Schwab.

Present:
Now, back to the present - or perhaps the present when I write this interview - with the CD "Rival Factions" Project 86 took a break from it. They did an almost full 180 in terms of their style of music, Andrew singing, and even lost their drummer (mutual break up). This CD was hard in some ways, but no where near as hard as "... And the Rest Will Follow". They almost completely eliminated any of the darker sounds. I would go so far as to say; If Project 86 were a Billboard Chart sell-out band (they're not) I'd say they tried to make a pop-albumn.

I bought it and was totally thrown off when I played it. Quickly highlighting my favorite tracks "Evil, A Chorus of Resistence" , "Put Your Lips to the TV" "Illuminate" my selfish need to hear hardcore songs drove me to pay little attention to the rest. But then, slowly, as time went on I realized that this albumn was not a poor attempt to make music. This CD was genius.

Review:
Yes, everything I know (and you might know) of Project 86 was basically gone. But in its place was something I'd never have been able to appreciate when I was younger and more interested in self-gratification than artistic talent. "The Forces of Radio Have Dropped a Viper in the Rythm Section" is actually quite fun to listen to. Exceptionally loud, it was just noise to me for a few months. Then I began singing along and I found it enjoyable. Even funny. "Molotov" is, surprisingly, a song of reflection. About the people who, like me, are into self-gratification, even as we destroy ourselves. The delivery is very odd, but the song is actually one of the better ones on the track. "Slaves to Liberty" while rather thought provoking is a punk song. I'd expect MxPx or even Relient K to try something like this. For the straight-up odd ball type of song it is (the only on the track like it) I still can't really dig it. But the message there is no different than something like "Chimes" "Pull Me Closer Violent Dance" is by far the funnest song I've ever listened to by Project 86. It's hilarious. Just the style of it alone is worthy of an award. It borrows from a Elton John song if I recall. But Andrew Schwab, perhaps because its Andrew Schwab singing it, makes the whole song just sound redicilous. It's the freshest thing he's ever done, in my opinion, and to-date is on my top 10 Project 86 hits. "Sanctuary Hum" is an interesting take on using light Gothic style choirs in a punk/scream song. It's one of the Golden Nuggets on the track. "Caveman Jam" is another funny song. It's not at all brooding or dark. It's just an attempt to answer critics of his style. But Schwab turns it into a rather loud answer with a ludicrous cap to end it on. "Normandy" is a tragic story where Andrew Schwab's simple way of 'talking' the lyrics works wonderfully. It sounds almost like he's reminicing about a painful memory. It's a bit slower than most of the songs but also one of the Golden Nuggets, probably in my top 10 of P86.

Conclusion:

Basically, Project 86 was panned for this albumn because they didn't give what people wanted or expected. They decided to experiment. In doing so they revealed most of their fans to be what they really were. Fans of the sound. Not of the message. Not of the band itself. Many have tried to put labels on Andrew Schwab. The harm in doing so is that once you believe in that label, that label is who you're looking at. No longer is the person behind it a person. They're that label. Andrew Schwab's cd "Truthless Heroes" is considered the best CD Project 86 ever made. But in making it Andrew Schwab found himself with labels that did not match who he was. So he left it all. He kept a similiar style and it appeased the fans Project 86 had made from "Black Lines" and "Truthless Heroes". But in the end, I believe, that he finally was tired of making the same style of music over and over. He wanted to try something new, something that didn't SOUNDS morbid or dark and mysterious. "Rival Factions" was the result. I recommend it to any who want to hear of bands who are willing to take chances even after creating a virtual formula of perfect songs.

**"Songs to Burn Your Bridges By" is an aptly named CD. It sounds like a "Good-Bye" CD that literally states as much several times to an unknown 'Empire'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Project 86 like you've never heard them before, August 24, 2007
By 
Trevor R. Raichura (Kobe, Hyogo, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rival Factions (Audio CD)
For years I knew of Project 86, and only listened to them occasionally because their sound was just a little too heavy for my likings. I always liked a few of their songs from each album, but not enough to actually purchase any of them. (That's not to say they aren't quality works in their own respect; they just didn't appeal to me.)

With 'Rival Factions', Project 86 has changed their sound significantly. They still have their share of heavy songs to please their long-time fans, but this album is filled with what sounds like 80s-influenced sounds. It is definitely more melodic than anything they have ever released in the past. Guitar riffs and synth parts make this one sound much older than it actually is, though P86 still flavours this one with their trademark sound.

Highlight songs are Evil (A Chorus of Resistance), Put Your Lips to the TV, Illuminate, and Sanctuary Hum. There really isn't a weak song on the entire album, though. As another reviewer noted, the CD packaging itself is awesome. In an age where downloading music has started to cause a decrease in actual CD production, this one needs to be bought the old-fashioned way. I guarantee you won't regret it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Project delivers again and keeps it fresh, December 31, 2007
By 
M. MacBradaigh (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rival Factions (MP3 Music)
I've been a fan of Project ever since I first saw them live at TomFest in WA at the Skamania Co. Fairgrounds, before their first release on Tooth and Nail. I have their whole collection except the new EP. They nailed it out of the park, as far as I'm concerned. They branched out a little on the sound, and yet, it's unmistakably Project, and hard. This has a little more groove in it. Don't let that fool you into thinking it doesn't hit hard though - it hits hard, and Andrew's vocals still come off like a howitzer. Being that it's really new, it's a little hard to place in terms of my favorites compared to the other albums. To this day, my favorite is still "Drawing Black Lines", followed by the last one prior to this "...And The Rest Will Follow". I also really liked "Truthless Heroes", and "Rival Factions" may take it's place as third best in the line-up.

If you like Project, I think you will like this album. If you like hard music, do yourself a favor and check it out.
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Rival Factions
Rival Factions by Project 86
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