I want to start this review by stating the obvious, WE MISS WAYNE STATIC !! In 2014 when it was announced that Wayne Static had passed the collective hearts of industrial metal fans all over the world were broken. The realization that we would never have new Static X music was something that took many of us, including myself, a very long time to get a grip of.
But then in 2019 we were treated to a Static X tour in honor of the 20th anniversary of that brutal masterpiece “Wisconsin Death Trip”. The original WDT line up of Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda added masked vocalist Xero and set off on a World Tour and fans packed into clubs to honor the memory of Wayne Static. I caught the Sayreville, NJ show and if the show wasn’t sold out it was short by only one or two people. Wall to wall Static X fans destroyed each other while the memorized sounds of Wisconsin Death Trip blasted through The Starland Ballroom.
Now it’s 2020, and in a year that will go down in history as one of the most devastating times on record the music Gods have been generous and allowed Static X to unleash twelve new songs collectively called “Project Regeneration Vol 1”.
“Project Regeneration Vol 1” has some of the final musical creations of Wayne Static, with seven of the songs on this release featuring vocals from Wayne. All of the music is new and features Xero, Campos, Jay, and Fukuda. Uncle Al (Jorgensen) from Ministry adds vocals to the track “Dead Souls”.
Anyone who saw the WDT anniversary tour knows Xero sings and performs in a way that honors Wayne Static and pays homage to Wayne’s unique vocal style. The songs on “Project Regeneration Vol 1” that do not include Wayne Static fit in perfectly to the remainder of the album. It is so damn good to hear Wayne belt out vocals on a track like “Hollow”. Campos explained previously “The vocals for the song HOLLOW were originally recorded in 2005 for the STATIC-X album Start A War, but Wayne and I never felt like the music on the original HOLLOW demo was fully realized”. "That is why it didn’t appear on Start A War or any STATIC-X album that followed. The vocals sounded great, but some of the musical compositions from that time period felt a bit experimental. The band was going through a lot of changes at that time and, in retrospect, it felt like we’d strayed away from that authentic STATIC-X sound that really defined us.”
The music on “Project Regeneration Vol 1” crushes and has all the industrial music aspects that make this album fit in with the Static X catalog. “Something Of My Own” has deep lyrics with the guitar crunch and programming sounds that makes this an unmistakable Static X track. “Dead Souls” has such an epic sound, haunting backing screams accentuate poignant lyrics and music that’s heavy yet lets the song breathe and the vocals star.
“Project Regeneration Vol 1” is out now and must be enjoyed as we all raise our fists in the air and shout “HAIL WAYNE WELLS STATIC”.
Static X Project Regeneration Vol 1 line up:
Wayne Static (lead vocals)
Xero (lead vocals)
Tony Campos (bass)
Ken Jay (drums)
Koichi Fukuda (guitars)
After the sudden passing of Static X mastermind Wayne Static in 2014 it seemed that those of us who witnessed the band's devastating live shows were destined to never attend another one. But original members Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitar), and Ken Jay (drums) decided that for the 20th anniversary of their landmark release "Wisconsin Death Trip" it was time to pay hommage to Wayne and give the fans another shot at seeing STATIC X live!
For this trek they have a masked frontman they call ZERO handling vocals and guitar as the band rips apart stages across North America through July. Saturday night in Sayreville, NJ brought out wall to wall fans, many wearing Static X tour shirts from years past, all attending to give love to Wayne and his music.
The set list included each song from "Wisconsin Death Trip" as well as favorites "Behemoth", "Cold", and "Start a War" among others. Zero didn't do anything crazy with the material (like try and put his own spin on the songs) and stayed true to the band's 1999 debut album. From my view in the photo pit I was able to see how much fun the guys were having, especially Campos who grooved across the stag,e most of the time with a visible smile while acknowledging the rabid fans as he played.
Brought along for the tour is heavyweights Devildriver and Dope with Wednesday 13 filliing out this incredible line up. I have many memories of Wayne Static and Static X from seeing them live throughout the years. Although tonight's show was missing Wayne in his physical form, his music and impact was on display and enjoyed by all his fans.
Bled For Days
Wisconsin Death Trip
Sweat of the Bud
The Trance is the Motion
Get to the Gone
Black and White
This is Not
Start a War
I'm With Stupid