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Project 86 - Truthless Heroes Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2002
Truthless Heroes,
Atlantic Records, 2002
| Performance 6 | Sound 8 |

ImageThere can be no doubt that the media pummels us with far too much meaningless information, and sometimes severely discolors our outlook on life. Project 86 attempts to take on this faceless monster with its thematic album, Truthless Heroes.

From the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” to Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” and beyond, rock ‘n’ roll has set itself up as an enemy of our invasive modern media. And while Project 86 has chosen a worthy battle to fight, the weapons of its warfare are far too vague to do any real damage to its foe.

Andrew Schwab sings these aggressive rock songs with a voice similar to that of Dexter Holland of he Offspring. There isn’t a whole lot of musical variety on this offering, though, as “Know What It Means” moves like a big lumbering metal number in 3/4 time, and “Salam's Suburbs” has a Gothic vibe to it. “S.M.C.” on the other hand, is fast, punky rock. Everything on this disc holds tightly to a predictable Gothic-metal-punk feel, except for "Bottom Feeder," which slows and quiets things down with a guitar ballad, and "...and help you sleep," which is one of four mock commercial interludes -- the one that also features piano in its mix. Overall, these tracks tend to melt into one large same-y metallic sludge.

Unless Project 86 has the guts to name names along with its accusations, nobody is going to fear them or take them seriously. For example, the track “Little Green Men” is all about an unaccountable military (not, by the way, space aliens, as its title implies). But just which military is under fire, so to speak? Is it the U.S.? Is it that of a foreign enemy? We never really know for sure.

"Shelter Me * Mercury" contains the line, "Don't bother me with details." Such a line also indicts Project 86’s lazy journalism here.
Groups like Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and The Clash were taken seriously as social commentators, as well as musicians, because their lyrics revealed how they knew of what they were talking about – at least most of the time. Project 86 would do well to follow their successful examples.

This is not an album about a truthless hero; it’s much closer to a frustratingly detail-less hero, instead.

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