What could have been

The demise of Static X is well documented enough that I don’t need to go into it here beyond saying the death of front man Wayne Static was another sad loss to drugs and alcohol in a long line of fallen stars.

Here we are eleven years later with the rest of the band reformed alongside new vocalist Xer0 (long rumoured to be Edsel Dope from Dope) and an anniversary world tour behind them, with a new album to unleash upon the world, created from the ashes of old recordings of Static as well as new input from Xer0.

From the very beginning guitarist/programmer Koichi Fukada takes control, with a techno driven industrial intro track preparing the listener for the upcoming 40 minutes of ‘classic’ Evil Disco. First track proper Hollow (Project Rejuvenation) opens with the clean singing of Static and a familiar stomp before the vocals wind up into the unique bark their vocalist become known for. By Terminator Oscillator, everything feels right in the world of the average Static X fan as it is obvious that they have striven to keep everything that made them so great on their first two albums so many years ago. This is also the first time Xero makes his presence felt, not by taking centre stage but instead trading off vocal lines in the second verse.

The less interesting mid-period of the band’s original run raises its head in the mid album sag that is All These Years, Accelerate and Bring You Down, suffering from the plod that infected a couple of their earlier albums, accidentally showing a career arc that was never really interesting the first time, and no better now.

Heavy programming introduces My Destruction, welcoming a return to the heavy sounds with its bass driven foot stomping good times. Some of the best vocal performances from the demos that constitute this album are hidden on this track, as well as Otsego Placebo that wraps the listener up like a welcoming blanket of industrial metal sounds as the vocalists (including bassist Tony Campos) try and out heavy each other.

The album rolls to a stop with Dead Souls, a track difficult to describe beyond  being a ballad in the style of Static X with a vocal contribution from Al Jourgenson. The fact that Uncle Al’s opposingly unique vocal style fits in seamlessly with Static’s reminds us what could have been if things did not abruptly end as they unfortunately did. The good news is that this is just volume one, with at least one more album’s worth of material laying around waiting to be regenerated, something that any fan will undoubtedly enjoy as much as this release.

1. Regeneration
2. Hollow (Project Regeneration)
3. Worth Dyin’ For
4. Terminator Oscillator
5. All These Years
6. Accelerate
7. Bring You Down (Project Regeneration)
8. My Destruction
9. Something of My Own (Project Regeneration)
10. Otsego Placebo
11. Follow
12. Dead Souls