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STATIC-X Project Regeneration: Volume 1

By Francisco Zamudio, Metal X Candy 2.0
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 @ 7:46 AM

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Project Regeneration: Volume 1

Ostego Entertainment Group

Every once in a while when I bust out my iPod (the look I get from such an “outdated” device is hysterical), I always hit shuffle and I can’t help but catch a bit of the nostalgia from bands that pop up. Specifically in this case, the bands that came out in the mid to late 90’s giving birth to Nu-Metal stemming from the death of grunge. There were some memorable moments for me with friends at the time. It was also a time where I started to become more initially involved with supporting some of the local bands. At the time, I was part of what was known as a “Street Team” that helped promote up and comers. One new group in both name and style that spun out at the tail end of the 90’s was Los Angeles’ own STATIC-X. Though there were other industrial type predecessors, this spiked-up hair lead man and short but intimidating voice on bass made up part of some electro-nu-metal that was quite unique at the time.

Their debut WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP (Warner Bros, 1999) was a constant spin for me and their live shows were so much fun. Simple but fun. I remember my friend Jesse (RIP) and I were really involved in supporting the band (I got my name credited on 1 of their singles, which was a pretty cool deal when I was young) and we got to appear in their video "I'M WITH STUPID". Flash forward to 2014 and due to the demise of lead vocalist and namesake of the band, Wayne Richard Wells aka Wayne Static - the band only released 6 albums and lasted barely 10 years since their debut. Now nearly 6 years since his passing, a new album emerges containing brand new yet unreleased material entitled PROJECT REGENERATION: VOLUME 1 (Ostego Entertainment Group).

They made the right move to reunite WSD’s original lineup for Part 1 of what could be considered a final goodbye on the short-lived legacy of Wayne Static. Consisting of drummer Ken Jay, guitarist Koichi Fukuda, el maldito-x (ASESINO) himself, bassist Tony Campos and also includes longtime producer Ulrich Wild – this new STATIC-X record contains many of the sounds that made STATIC-X a very likable band. Much of the programming and keyboards (largely credited to Fukuda) are still very present and Wayne’s unique vocal styling shines through brilliantly. Many of the songs here seem to feel like b-sides or re-worked ideas from early STATIC-X material. "WORTH DYING FOR" is a clear indication of this. "TERMINATOR OSCILLATOR" almost gave me a flashback to the BLADE movies with its syth-wave programming, a sound that really gravitated the “goth” scenesters, especially in L.A. "ACCELERATE" is another example of this, riffs that were familiar and a basic part of their sound. If you’re looking for some of that heavy syth sound, "MY DESTRUCTION" is your jam. In fact, a lot of the album contains this, one of the core elements that made their sound what it was. In that context "OSTERGO PLACEBO" and "FOLLOW" are a couple from many of the others you’ll enjoy on PROJECT REGENERATION: VOLUME 1.

It’s amazing to me that the nostalgia for this music and bands from the late 90’s still exists to this day. Much how nowadays comic books from the 90’s are viewed with a bit of stink-eye, this would be the way I describe today’s perception many have for that era of Nu-Metal/post-grunge. Looking back, I highly believe it was a desperate era for music fans and it helped Nu-Metal rise to the success it did. Be that as it may that while this retrospect leaves modern bands to go unrecognized, had it not been for these dedicated listeners, this all would have gone away already. Their admiration are why these are some of the top selling concerts, as evident by the success of STATIC-X’s sellout 20th Anniversary tour that included “Xer0” (aka Edsel Dope) posing as a lead replacement for Wayne. This first part of the final chapter in STATIC-X, the Wayne era is an appropriate reflection showing the great style of music STATIC-X had developed and will give old school STATIC-X and Wayne fans something more to hold onto.

4.0 Out Of 5.0

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