CD Review: PROJECTED ~ Human
Projected – Human
Label: Yaya Papu
Release date: September 18, 2012
What do rock stars do when they’re not busy playing concerts, recording albums, and writing new material? They form a second band of course. What began as a side project for fun has turned into something special for members of Sevendust, Creed and Alter Bridge. Meet, Projected.
Projected was born when Sevendust guitarist John Connolly and bassist Vince Hornsby got together with drummer Scott Phillips (Creed, Alter Bridge) and guitarist Eric Friedman (Tremonti Project, Creed) and began jamming. It didn’t take long before the chemistry was palpable and new music was being created.
The band’s debut album, Human, hits like a brick to the head all the while burning the soul. Usually with projects like this, the fans get little more than gratuitous ode to ego and contrived cast off tracks that didn’t make it on previous albums for the member’s “real” bands. Well cast your trepidation aside: Human captures the magic of the band’s various members while creating a signature of its own.
Powerful and rich vocals blend into catchy melodies and dynamic riffs. The musicianship is excellent, which should go without saying, but there you go.
The album opens up with the ubiquitous opening “Intro” which sets a tone for the album title. Hard to imagine that some simple guitar and flowing melody could capture the feel of a word, an idea, but it fits quite well. Then the listener is brusquely hammered face first into a wall of thick riffage on “HELLo”. This song is feels exactly what one might expect this band to sound like. Angst fueled lyrics and driving rhythms, counterpointed by Phillips explosive foot and stick work.
The album’s first single, “Watch It Burn” has a slight industrial vibe, but is addictively catchy, packed with tight harmonies, and exceptional guitar work.
“So Low” maintains the albums continuity with rapacious hooks that sink into the cranium and won’t let go. Meanwhile “Bring You Back” slows the pace just long enough to set us up for the catapult attack that follows.
Sevendust vocalist Lajon Witherspoon stops by to add even more punch to “Bring You Back” and Connolly’s vocals really connect on the Dimebag Darrell Abbott tribute, “12084”: The band hits a real poignant note here and delivers a true stand out tribute to our lost and legendary friend.
Track by track, Human fills the listeners ears with irresistible melodies and flowing textures. The guitar work is at once thick yet atmospheric, proving that less can in fact be more. The low-end is always solid, and rumbles tightly in the groove, while the percussion is propulsive yet precise. The production is stellar. The most impressive part of the album though are the vocals and sweeping harmonies and the depth of the songwriting. Connolly and Friedman blend together as if they’d been working together for years.
I came into Human expecting little and finding that once in a while the book actually is as promising as the cover. This is more than a mere “side” project or vanity recording. Projected has legs and Human offers complexity and depth you can sink your ears into. This is a complete album one can listen to repeatedly without the need to skip tracks.