February 12, 2024

So here it is – the final vocals and song ideas of Wayne Static, fully formed into a second volume nearly four years after Volume 1 made the light of day.

Surely enough and even before the arrival of Volume 1, the cynics came out to play, after all, there could be no Static-X without their crazy haired, talismanic leader? And rather than replace Wayne, Static-X ‘created’ a ‘character’ called XerO to ‘play’ him and on the back of Project Regeneration Vol.1, the band in this formation has consistently toured – and to some critical acclaim it should be added – leaving the cynics circling the humble pie like hungry buzzards over roadkill.

To the credit of Static-X, Project Regeneration has been created and executed in a dignified manner; there has been no hiding that the album contains the last vocals and ideas of Static – who tragically died in 2014 – and the original members of band – Tony Campos on bass, Ken Jay on drums, Koichi Fakuda on guitar/samples and along with the mysterious XerO on vocals and guitar (still believed to be friend of the band Edsel Dope) came together to work Static’s ideas and vocals into actual songs thereby completing them and at the same time celebrating the legacy of Wayne Static.

Whereas Volume 1 was a brisk 39 minutes, Volume 2 is a longer trek which crams in pretty much everything of what Static-X is about – an almost danceable industrial barrage intercut with loops and samples and from the off, opener Stay Alive and Z0mbie will get under the skin in terms of catchiness. Black Star steadies the pace whereas Kamikaze ramps it up again with an almost technicolour effects laden blast behind the repetitive stab of the chorus. Disco Otsego adds the familiarity with its incorporation of samples from tracks harking right back to their best selling debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. As to that longer trek, the album includes a couple of bonus tracks and while Static-X is not necessarily known for covers, at least their version of Nine Inch Nails’ Terrible Lie is more in their ball park than the (probably intentionally) hilarious version of Whitesnake’s Still Of The Night and Poison’s Talk Dirty To Me that featured on the expanded version of 2009’s Cult Of Static.

What is next for Static-X is anyone’s guess with Campos stating that “if the fans want it” then the band could be a going concern which could mean entirely new music beyond Project Regeneration Vol 2. Similarly, it could imply that their work is done in honouring Wayne Static.

For any Static-X fan, Project Regeneration Vol 2 is as essential as the previous instalment and sure enough, this volume, like the last does not exactly provide any progression or desire to go in other directions – it is not supposed to. For newcomers that want to know what all the fuss is about, Wisconsin Death Trip and its follow up Machine are both albums that fall into the ‘must have’ category.

Whether this is the end or not, Static-X has at least closed a circle by bringing the final works of Wayne Static to life. Whether that circle can be re-opened in terms of new Static-X music in the future very much remains to be seen.