When I was younger, I listened to Project 86 a lot. I still listen to them quite a bit (my daily wake-up alarm is a random song from a playlist of all their work), but a lot of their mid-00’s stuff is stuff that I remember well from my days in high school (you know, back before streaming music when we had to actually buy albums, as uncivilized as that sounds).
The song of theirs that has had one of the greatest effects on me is “Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)”, both because of its awesomely cheesy food-fight music video (the part with a chef spraying mustard and ketchup right into a guy’s face remains comedy gold), but also because it’s actually surprisingly deep.
I still use the lyrics of this song as a framing point for what evil is: the desire to have something one should not have despite the costs, and the willingness to do so. It jives surprisingly well with my current beliefs despite the fact that I’ve been growing more and more complicated as I read philosophical texts.
“Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)” marks a transitional point in Project 86. Going from hardcore-influenced sounds to more alt-rock styled feels on Rival Factions and the Kane Mutiny. Rival Factions is probably my favorite overall album for individual songs, though I don’t know that I’d say it would count as my favorite style (Knives to the Future and Sheep Among Wolves, their two most recent albums, are probably most stylistically in tune with my tastes). Caveman Jam and Normandy are perhaps the two Project 86 songs I’ve listened to the most over the years, but the former is perhaps frontman Andrew Schwab’s most obvious song in terms of meaning and the latter is among the most poetic.
Project 86 also bears the honor of being one of probably a half-dozen contemporary bands I’ve heard in person; I was at a Phoenix-area concert that was also where they unveiled “Two Glass Eyes” off of their Picket Fence Cartel album.
Writer’s Note: I believe the song was “Two Glass Eyes” because both my brother and I were at the concert and we’re in agreement on that. I don’t have a great recollection of the concert itself, simply due to the amount of time that has passed.