EP review: The L.I.F.E. Project – The L.I.F.E. Project

Stone Sour guitarist Josh Rand fires first shots from heavily rocking new vehicle The L.I.F.E. Project.

EP review: The L.I.F.E. Project – The L.I.F.E. Project
Steve Beebee

When Corey Taylor announced last year that Stone Sour were being put to bed for an ‘indefinite’ period, there was only one way guitarist Josh Rand was gonna react. The habitually thoughtful musician is given to expressing himself in music rather than words. No surprise, then, this gifted multi-instrumentalist returned at once to the studio, taking not only his guitar but his bass and drumsticks. No surprise also that this five-track EP – the first fruits of his labour – lights up in a rousing swell of riffs, the launch pad for a stubborn, surging anthem aptly titled Ignite.

So far, so good – but the real ‘wow’ factor here is the presence of Josh’s new recording partner, singer Casandra Carson. On loan from U.S. hard rockers Paralandra, for whom she also plays guitar, Casandra performs here with the vengeful gusto of someone who has just punched her way out of brick-walled confinement – which of course might not be so far from the truth. On the epic Purgatory, the vocalist offers skin-pricking hints of her prowess, before unleashing the full hurricane on The Nothingness, a song that appears to document Josh’s struggle with addiction and depression – a battle he thankfully won. The Nothingness bears some comparison with Halestorm’s Mz Hyde, not least because Casandra’s vocals really are that good.

Josh’s subtle use of keyboards enable a sense of drama, and it ends fittingly with the layered A World On Fire. With lines such as ‘No opinions from anyone / I do the things I do for me, not you,’ it’s easy to assume Josh is lashing out at Stone Sour, but the lyrics are actually written by Casandra about breaking free from social media. It doesn’t deviate dangerously from expectation, but The L.I.F.E. Project stills blasts out enough shock and awe to carve future routes from both these artists’ day jobs.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: The Pretty Reckless, Audioslave, Alter Bridge

The L.I.F.E. Project is released on July 9 via Bloodblast Distribution

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