Feb 2018 28

Project .44 vs. En Esch - Murder Weapon/Forty FourProject .44 vs. En Esch
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: Murder Weapon/Forty Four
Blurb: Chicago industrial/rock at its finest with this double A side single offering a taste of what’s in store on the band’s upcoming 2018 album.


Having released the Revolution single in late 2015, Chicago industrial/rock collective Project .44 has offered up this double A-side single to showcase just what rivetheads can expect from the long awaited (The Storm Before) Reform. Joined by En Esch in the flesh, Project .44 unleashes a gyrating and guttural onslaught of industrialized bombast with “Murder Weapon.” The track begins with a repeating sample of Kiefer Sutherland assuring us that “There are things in this world that are out of our control,” firmly establishing an eerie atmosphere and a solid rhythm for Ken Pillar’s sparse but forceful drums and Charles Levi’s familiar bass tone to underscore En Esch’s incendiary growl. The interplay of his vocals with Chris Harri5 and Jason McNinch is at once unsettling and exciting, erupting into fury when the virulent guitars enter, Louis Svitek’s chugging power chords and rapid fire solo fills adding a touch of heavy metal flavor. It’s a simply menacing and powerful track bristling with the classic Chicago industrial/rock sound that is Project .44, the band’s sharply rhythmic and scratchily up-tempo remix treatment standing in stark contrast to the epic pulsating electro/industrial scorch of En Esch’s version. Panic Lift also offers up a darkly electronic remix with a more modern harsh electro approach with its cold piano arpeggio and shrill synth leads.

On the other side of the single is “Forty Four” in both studio and live versions, the latter showcasing the band’s proficiency as a live act. Indeed, listening to the live version, one gets the sense that the chorus surely got the audiences riled up to shout along and throw a few fists in the air. The siren sample that pervades throughout does get a tad annoying, but it’s hardly an encumbrance to the song’s overall thrashing ferocity and virulent punklike energy, the political undertones of the samples culminating in the ending statement, “History isn’t made by conformists.” Once again, we’re given a few remixes for good measure, and listeners should know what to expect from Angelspit and iVardensphere by now. Angelspit’s beats aimed straight for the dancefloor while the track is glitched and manipulated to outright electronic mania, while the insidious marching and tom rolls of iVardensphere’s version provide an effective backbeat for the incessance of the guitar. CD editions of the single include a pair of bonus tracks, the first of which being The Gothsicles’ .22 Bus remix of album track “Chicago,” and the whimsy of this throbbing techno track isn’t lost on anybody as a celebration of the Windy City and its vibrant music scene. As for the other track, a live performance of “Everything Is Always Wrong” from Gothicfest 2005, given its availability on the band’s Bandcamp as a standalone digital track makes its inclusion here little more than filler… but as a breakneck track and a vicious live performance, it’s at least a good filler.

Project .44 is a band with a great deal of history to draw from with its members having served at various times in the upper echelon of the industrial music scene – My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, MINISTRY, Revolting Cocks, Pigface, Hate Dept., and more all can be heard in the machine rock concoction that is Project .44. While some of that history may be gone with the passing of band member and eminent producer/musician Jason McNinch in late 2017, it is certainly very keenly felt and sure to never be forgotten. The proof can be heard in every pounding drumbeat, every grating guitar riff, and every howl and roar of this band. As a taste of the new album, the Murder Weapon/Forty Four single is more than up to the task to provide ample anticipation for Project .44’s singularly raw and uncompromising brand of industrial/rock.
Track list:

  1. Murder Weapon
  2. Murder Weapon [En Esch Remix]
  3. Murder Weapon [Project .44 Remix]
  4. Murder Weapon [Panic Lift Remix]
  5. Chicago [The .22 Bus Remix by The Gothsicles]
  6. Forty Four
  7. Forty Four [Angelspit Remix]
  8. Forty Four [iVardensphere Remix]
  9. Forty Four [Live at House of Blues Chicago]
  10. Everything Is Always Wrong [Live at Gothicfest]

Project .44
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Purchase at:
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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