on March 3, 2005
"Songs To Burn Your Bridges By," Project 86's fourth release, and the follow-up to their brilliant 2002 album, "Truthless Heroes" finds the band returning to the Tooth & Nail label that housed their debut, and further perfecting their signature sound. This is an album that anyone previously initiated with the band will love, and newcomers as well. I always find the greatest music comes from bands or artists that just can't be categorized. Project 86 definitely fall into that category. They don't fit into any genre and it's hard to nail exactly what sound they are going for. The albums kicks off in familiar fashion with "The Spy Hunter" and "Oblivion," two songs that are classic P86, and caps off with a rather sublime tune "Solace," much in the same vein as "Hollow Again." Throughout the album, which is a vague concept piece, there is quite a bit of variety as the band refuses to stick to one sound. "A Shadow Of Me" and "Safe Haven" reflect the more melodic side of the band, while the punky and catchy "Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy" and the dark, textured "Circuitry" compliment each other well. Vocalist Andrew Schwab has a very distinct voice, and is one of the few vocalists out there who sounds like he really means what he is singing. This is truly a group that feels their music. Don't be turned off by the fact that they are a Christian band, as the music doesn't neccessarily revolve around any religious beliefs. Project 86 are easily one of the most unique bands out there today, and it's a pity they have hardly gotten any recognition. Quality music always prevails with these guys, and if you are looking for something new, or already love the band, I must direct you towards "Songs To Burn Your Bridges By." There will be no regrets.
on June 1, 2004
After having several label fueds and releasing STBYBB as and Indie Release on the Project headed Team Black records,Project 86 made amends with former label Tooth and Nail to re-release the CD with three additional songs. I have owned the Indie version since its release this last winter so I have come to know this album very well. This album is nothing short of another amazing release by one of the most frustratingly under promoted band of our time. Project 86 eclipses nearly all other Christian bands with the possible exception of Stavesacre in intensity, incredibly meaningful lyrics, emotion, and creative hard song writing. I question frequently how the likes of POD and Blindside, while both excellent bands, have gone so much further than P86 in the mainstream. In my mind Project 86 is with the likes of Tool, NIN, Deftones, and other "elite" bands in their quality of music. Without a doubt if you like heavy melodic, thinking music, than order this CD and all of P86's previous releases.
The Spy Hunter - The CD starts out with a furious riff that almost has a punk theme, than proceeds to add the rest of the band after Andrew says "One last disguise". The song is an excellent intro to the theme of revenge and independence on the disc
Oblivion - Continuing the theme Oblivion leads the listener in with its driving riff and then explodes into its catchy chorus. One of the weaker tracks but nonetheless incredible
A Shadow on Me - New song that is also first single. Eery guitar riff drives the song to the chorus where Andrew screams the lyrics as the guitarist sings them. Another incredible song that feels desperate yet confident at the same time.
Safe Haven - An anamoly for Project, a clean guitar riff opens the song with a somewhat polyrythmic sounding drum pattern soon joining. The song soon explodes as Andrew screams "nobody knows, nobody cares!" Great lyrics on this one
Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy - Another clean guitar riff starts out the album with a somewhat laidback jazzy feel. The song is a different style for Project and takes some time to get used to. I think I have heard the guitar line for this song on MTV's Pimp my ride.
Breakdown in 3/4 - Another new song and one that upon few listens has promise to be an essential Project song. It mixes loud and soft very well and pushes to its climatic end. The lyrics are very ironic about how "obsolete" the singer has become but also has a threatening tone of righting the wrongs.
The Great Golden Gate Disaster - This one could have been pulled off of "Drawing Black Lines" easily. Very fast paced and aggresive. This song does not relent til the end. The combination of the music and lyrics make this a very anger inducing song.
Breakneck Speed - Pulsating bass line rotates with slow clean guitar riff. The bridge to this song is another step for project as it uses Linkin Park type voice editing on his scream. The end lyrics to this song are very powerful in their irony "I wish that this could have been so very different for us, I wish that you could have been my everything, so sorry, so long, its been so real"
Sioux Lane Spirits - Very haunting eery song dealing with a seemingly dysfuntional father/daughter relationship with very poignant lyrics that some I'm sure will find over the top.
Circuitry - Very interesting song, not my favorite by far but still an interesting piece. Controversial almost sexual lyrics on top of a almost machine sounding guitar riff.
3 Card - This song soudns very much like a hardcore punk/thrash song with unintelligible lyrics. Not too impressed with this but I'm not much of a punk fan.
A Fruitless End Ever - Alas one of the greatest trios (or duos) of songs begins. The ominous base line soon gives way to the imposing chorus as Andrew threatens "You cannot hide now, We'll find you somehow". Obviously a message to a abusive authority, this song pounds its message out and sets the stage for the finale of the so-called Truthless Heroes.
A Text Message to the So-Called Emperor - Spoken word track detailing all the crimes of the "emperor" and describing how he will be taken down for all his injustice. The songs creepy sounds fade out to the beginning of...
Solace - Possibly one of the best Project songs written and an obvious choice to end the Truthless Heroes saga on the CD. A single guitar plucks out the simple yet threatening main riff as Andrew inaudibly speaks through the verses. The chorus is somewhat hard to get used to as it doesn't explode as much as anticipated, but it serves its purpose in increasing tension. The song really starts to pick up at the bridge, and then Andrew starts telling of his oppenents demise at the very end and on the final measures the band clicks together very satisfyingly. As the song ends you feel like you were part of the uprising and that the goal has been accomplished. I know that is corny but it is hard to describe the emotions evoked by this song.
Overall this CD is an incredible mind and emotion trip and should be added to any music fan who enjoys progressive, hard, thoughtful, or emotional music.
on January 30, 2005
While...Im not going to lie, Im a huge project fan, and would probably tell you to buy anything they sell. However objectively I would have to say this is them at their very best, and by far one of the best CD's I own. Best of all it's a concept album, much like NIN-downward spiral, where the whole albums follows a specific character, albeit nameless. Songs like the album's climax "Solace" carry such raw emotion in the sounds of the vocals. You can hear the frontman's soul bleed as he cracks his voice.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this album; As it will stay in regular rotation in your CD player for decades, if not years.
on August 2, 2004
Over time, some bands tend to trap themselves in dry ruts made of their own boring and lethargic music. But while these bands slowly sink to their graves, Project 86 is climbing mountains with its new, vivacious hard rock record, Songs to Burn Your Bridges By.
With the help of Tooth and Nail Records, Project 86 has once again included all the ingredients needed to generate a remarkable album: Experience, emotion, and excitement. Songs to Burn your Bridges By is Project 86's fourth CD put out in the past eight years and by the quality of each individual track, it's obvious the band knows what it's doing. Impressive sound quality and tasteful guitar licks are often a hit or miss deal, and Project 86 definitely hits the ball out of the park with each of these.
Also, Project 86 doesn't hide or sugar coat issues inside its lyrics. Instead, it takes a brutally honest approach of "this is how it is and this is how it should be", which is exactly what people need to hear. I've had enough of bands that merely dip their toes into issues but are too afraid to get their hair wet. As for Project 86, it dives in headfirst, screaming its message loud and clear (well, as clear as distortion allows). Unlike some hard-rock albums where the lyrics seem nonexistent amidst the heavy guitars and drums, Project 86 blends crisp vocals and distorted instruments to provide a well balanced sound.
Songs to Burn Your Bridges By is a CD to get excited about. It's quality music with a hard-core style that can make even your grandma want to jump in a mosh-pit. Even if you don't consider yourself a hard-rocker, this record is worth your time and your money, so get your hands on it.
on December 30, 2004
Highlights: Spy Hunter, Breakneak Speed, Breakdown in 3/4, Solace
"I've unplugged the wires from your spine; at first you'll be afraid. But we'll be alone and so content, and we will live again."-Safe Haven
This cd is breathtaking. It is obviously packed to the brim with emotion and authority and you deserve to have it in your cd player. As a newcomer to Projectdom, I don't have the ability to compare this to previous albums, so there's no point. But, I do know that this is just about the best album I've ever listened to, and its worth paying $15 just for the song Solace. You wade through loads of trash every time you step into the music section in Wal-Mart, when all you're looking for is an album this good.
Do yourself a favor. Quit reading this review, scroll up, and click that "Add to Cart" button right now.
on June 17, 2016
Here I am writing a review of this album 13 years after its original release, because I just keep going back to it time and time again. It is clear that the band wrote many of these songs during times of frustration, anger, and disappointment. They went through a lot of issues with Atlantic Records refusing to release one of their singles, and much of the writing in "Songs to Burn Your Bridges By" reflects those frustrations. I often find myself listening to this album in my own times of frustration or anger, and it helps me to feel that someone else understands.
In my opinion, this album is still the best work that Project 86 has ever done overall, even though I have enjoyed all their albums to some extent. I am a Christian, and while their lyrics are not worship songs, they deal with real life issues and are honest, unlike a lot of Christian music. Andrew Schwab, the lead singer, is never shy about sharing his faith, whether in interviews or on stage. But this is a band that even non-Christians can relate to, because they deal with issues that everyone have, and they approach them with the mindset of a Christian. They are all about exposing injustice, whatever form it takes, and standing up against it.
I recommend everyone who is a fan of Christian Rock or just rock music in general take a listen to Project 86, especially this album.
on June 3, 2004
I already own the limited release, but decided to purchase this one as well after hearing a clip of "3 card" (more on this later. I found upon listening that it is indeed different enough to merit an additonal purchase because of the subtle difference in the way the songs have now been mixed, with "Safe Haven" being the most apparent.
The Spy Hunter: 5/5 - Everyone knows this song and how much of an improvement the old STBYBB version was, but with the cleaner mix on this version it's now among the greatest of all Project songs and boast tremendous live potential.
Oblivion: 5/5 - The definition of fight music as my friend calls it. Also a great live song due a chorus made for singing along.
A Shadow On Me: 3/5 - As previously stated this is the album's first single which confirms my opinion of it when I first heard it. A very strong song that is sure to garner mainstream attention due to it's almost emo styling. What's that opinion I mentioned? Merely that because of this song there will soon be throngs of girls and emo kids rushing the stage to sing along with this track......only to be trampled when it's followed up by a song like "Spill Me" or "Stein's Theme".....I can't wait.
Safe Haven: 5/5 - One of my favorite tracks on this album. Superbly written with a breakdown so simple yet so haevy and powerful.
Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy: 3/5 - Well written, with Randy, err...Randeath, flanting his Fugazi influences.
Breakdown In 3/4: 4/5 - My favorite of the new songs due to it's straight up Project tone. Excellent build up leading to an ending reminiscent of "Another Boredom Movement".
The Great Golden Gate Disaster: 4/5 - Great song, powefully written and full of emotion.
Breakneck Speed: 3/5 - Not a bad song by any means. Very bass heavy for fans of Dail.
Sioux Lane Spirits: 3/5 - This one is a little creepy and I could see it used in horror movies the way Project songs have been used in the past(P.S., Pipedream, and Spill Me).
Circuitry: 1/5 - It pains me to say this about a Project song, but I can't stand this song. Far too repetitive and if you've heard the version of "Soma" on their forum this song is old hat. Picks up towards the end though, and while it may not be their best it's still lightyears ahead of most other bands.
3 Card: 4/5 - The most interesting of all the tracks on this album due to it's old school punk feel. A blend of Officer Negative and NIN (Broken). I expect it would also be an incredible live song just wish it was longer, but it's fast so you can see why it's probably the shortest of all their songs.
A Fruitless End Ever: 5/5 - My favorite song of this album. The bassline will hook you the moment you hear it and by the chorus you will picture Andrew jumping around onstage screaming the words.
A Text Message To The So-called Emporer: 1/5 - Spoken word track, well written and possibly intended to be the precursor to the book Andrew wrote, but later decided not to release. I guarantee you will skip it after a listen or two.
Solace: 4/5 - Very powerful song which sums up the theme/feeling/message of this album. A little slow to start, but stick with it and you'll love it.
The overall sound of this album is fairly close to T.H., but with an unrestrained freedom in the tone of the songs similar to D.B.L. There's a few songs I didn't care for too much, but that's all in personal opinion. Every song on this album is a worthy of being included on a Project 86 release. Even if you own the original version you'll appreciate this one.
on June 29, 2004
I have really enjoyed all of Project's cds so far, self titled, Drawing Black Lines, and Truthless Heroes. So if you are one of the many people who disliked TH i wouldn't recommend getting this cd. I've heard it described as being more like Drawing Black Lines, but in my opionion it's really just a sequel to Truthless Heroes. A good sequel, and maybe a bit heavier than that disc, but still in the same vein.
However, I don't think this is a problem at all. The lyrics are unfailingly clever and insightful just as all of Project's songs are. The music is by turns punchy and melancholy, sometimes both. The vocals are excellent. Not as much brutal sarcasm in this cd as there was lurking in Truthless Heroes, or as much optimistic anger as there was in Drawing Black Lines, but there is still plenty of both to be enjoyed.
Just to clarify, if you like hard music just to mosh to or because it's loud Project probably isn't the band for you. The real star in these songs are the lyrics. Can't care less what they have to say? Then find another band. There are plenty of mindless ones out there to choose from with really catchy breakdowns.
Songs to note: Oblivion, Safe Haven, Breakdown in 3/4, A Fruitless End Ever. (They're all good really, pick you're own favs.)
on August 30, 2004
Quite frankly, this record is awesome. It is definately the most intense of all their albums. Now is it the best? I still have to say that Drawing Black Lines is their best work but this record probably touched me personally more than any other. Andrews lyrics are genius, and the music matches. To anyone who is "unhappy" with this album, I beg you to listen again. Then again the same people that are unhappy with this album are the fans that think Projects best album was Truthless Heroes.
Breakdown in 3/4
Actually, what am I saying, listen to them all. Project 86 is no doubt the most genuine, intense, band raging about all the right things that has ever existed. Life changing even.
on May 14, 2014
Bought this Cd for my mother cause she loves this band. she has seen them live before and love them. she was happy when it came in am has been blasting it in the car every time me drive somewhere. The Cd was in good condition and came in on time. no scratches or anything. she loves it!