[6 July 2008]
While the music itself can stand on its own as socially conscious, ear-searing punk, there is a cohesive storyline to The T4 Project’s Story Based Concept Album. Chronicling the tale of a young man railing against the system and the various “viruses” of complacency, control, apathy, ignorance, and revenge, this is a protest album in the fullest sense. Controversial and visceral in its approach, spoken-word vignettes are inserted between the throttling tracks criticizing various institutions as the government, military, and the healthcare industry. Musically, the material is easily accessible to punk fans across the spectrum from hardcore to pop-punk. There are even elements of a heavier strain of ‘80s pop-metal coursing through the disc. Songs like “Underground” and “15 Minutes” are highly melodic while the slow creep of “Interrogation” punctuated by a thunderous rhythm section comprised of drummer Trotsky and Bad Religion’s bassist, Jay Bentley.
To completely absorb the full impact of The T4 Project’s message, it’s completely necessary to pick up the album for its highly detailed rendering complete with lyrics and an illustrated comic-book style storyline. With its storyline and lyrics conceived and written by Shannon Saint Ryan and full-color illustrations by Keith Rosson, the album took two and a half years to complete due to the conflicting schedules of the array of punk luminaries who contributed. With an ensemble that features members of the Circle Jerks, Morrisey, and Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise (who as a favor to Saint Ryan for laying his flooring for free, played on the disc) among others, the project has the seamless and polished flow of a band that has been together for years, working as a finely tuned unit, rather than a ramshackle collective of underground punk luminaries.