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| 26 July 2022 | Reply

Label: Rat Pack Records

Release Date: June 24, 2022

Rating: 93%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

It seems every five years, Projected unleashes new music.  After the double album opus released in 2017, I feared we may have to wait 10 years, but the pandemic allowed the band to crank through some new music for us rockers to sink our teeth into.  Disc opener “Consequences” is an instrumental interlude that helps set the pace and expectations for the next twelve songs but be sure to buckle up as it only gets better from here.  “Dead Weight” unfolds quickly with a killer riff that gets the head banging before the drums, bass, and vocals join the metal fray.  The overall tone and feel of this song draw you in with a warm embrace that does your rock heart good.  The vocals from John Connolly are some of the best on the disc.  “Stain” has a different texture from the first note until the last, but the overall vibe of the track fits within the pattern cut by most of the track, but the difference is what keeps me coming back to this track repeatedly.  I love Connolly’s vocals on this song and the way he gives us glimpses into various parts of his vocal approach.  The percussion is smooth and perfectly anchors the track.  Title track “Hypoxia” comes at you from first note, especially the vocals, and drives you harder and faster without getting too aggressive or unlistenable.  The overall vibe of the track comes off as if it were written and performed with a live performance in mind; the vibe and musical breakdowns are sure to get heads banging, fists raised, and the crowd singing along after the first pass through.  “Scars” is a solid contagious rocker that has a heavy-handed bottom end from drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Vinnie Hornsby that keeps the cadence of the track moving while the guitars and vocals come together weaving a melodic web of rock that grabs you and keeps you ensnared long enough to get into the groove and overall feel of the track.  This is my one of two favorite tracks on the disc and shows the band is no one trick rock pony.  Be sure to catch the vocal breakdown and musical accompaniment as the song heads for the bridge.  “Test” kicks off with an almost electronic / industrial vibe that quickly morphs into the modern rock radio sound we have become accustomed to after listening to the bands catalog over the last couple releases, including these thirteen tracks.  Disc closer “At Your Window” takes us out as strong and heavy as “Dead Weight” brought us in.  The thunderous bass from Hornsby and drums from Phillips that cascade in the mix around Connolly and Friedman’s guitars while keeping the vocals in check closes this chapter… until the next listen.

“The Thing That’s Real” has an amazing opening riff and bottom end that gets the blood pumping and head ready for some banging.  The vocals get swirled into the mix and we are off and running for a cool rock and roll ride.  The overall tones of the track are cool and keep the track from thinning out or getting too heavy, landing in a musical sweet spot.  “Take Aim” is another rocker that is seemingly built for the radio and the stage.  This song coupled with “Stain” is one of the more contagious one-two punches on the disc and allow you to settle in and just sonically digest the music and enjoy it for what it is without overthinking lyrics, time changes, or guitar riffs.  This is a cool track that tucks you in nicely under a rock and roll blanket.  “Without You” is a beautiful track that allows John’s voice to shine while the guitar attack from he and Erock help carry the track through the verses, chorus, and bridge.  The songs gentler bottom end and melody forward vocal / guitar blend helps set this track apart from some of the others.  “My Addiction” is a cool song that sounds as if it could have been ripped from one of the various projects the bandmembers call their ‘day jobs.’  The song has elements from Sevendust, Alter Bridge, and Tremonti while maintaining the overall feel of the Projected sound, demonstrating how well these guys play with each other.  The song is catchy and allows you to enjoy all the different sounds with each listen.  “Dark” is not at all self-descriptive sonically, with a cool guitar and piano led verse that supports an absolutely beautiful vocal from John.  This one has found its way into my rotation of music while driving or just sitting in the office reviewing a tax return.  This song shifts and moves at times, getting a bit harder and darker without getting hard or overpowering musically or conceptually.  Paired with “Scars,” this closes out the pair of my favorite tracks on the disc.  “Death Is Mostly Permanent” builds on the last track from its musicality to its overall structure that keeps listening while allowing you to take the song in and enjoy it.  The music at the transitions ties the choruses and verses together perfectly and the chugging riff and basslines add depth to the track.  After speaking with John and taking this for as many spins as I have, I really hope we get to absorb this disc and the bands catalog in a live situation at some point in the near future.

Tracklisting: Consequences – Dead Weight – The Thing That’s Real – Stain – Take Aim – Hypoxia – Without You – Scars – My Addiction – Test – Dark – Death Is Mostly Permanent – At Your Window

Lineup: John Connolly (vocals / guitars) – Scott Phillips (drums) – Eric Friedman (guitars) – Vinnie Hornsby (bass)





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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