Review: Landing Project
Label: self-released (available at the bands Myspace and at shows)
Released: January 31, 2009
In recent years, there have been a number of bands who have returned to punk's old loose hooks and gritty melodies. Against Me is at the top of that pile with bands like Gaslight Anthem quickly climbing up behind them. Many voices are screaming to be heard behind these front runners. Not all are worth hearing, but among those that are is Landing Project. Their "three chords and the truth" approach is attempted by many. The three chords part is easy. Rock and roll has a long tradition of simplicity and even turning simplicity into great hooks isn't terribly unusual, but it's the truth part that stumps so many.
Landing Project turns out to be everyman poets (or more appropriately every-misfit/misplaced/misunderstood-man poets) to whose truth anyone with a beating heart should be able to relate. The album opens with the words, "I remember how I felt in my teens..." Don't we all remember? But this song, as the title "Keep Going" suggests, looks forward. It's this combination of examination and expectation that gives these songs the roots with which to connect and the open future into which to fly. Without that, their three chords would just add up to a handful of catchy tunes. With this truth, this honesty, they're a handful of catchy tunes that mean something.
If that's not enough (though it should be plenty), check out the packaging. Rather than package the CD in a jewel case, digipak or cardboard sleeve, the guys in Landing Project made unique sleeves out of old 5 1/4 inch floppy disks. In an age when the CD is dying off in the face of digital releases, packaging is more important than ever and this is one band who found a great way to make the hardcopy worthwhile. It even steals a bit from the digital age for irony's sake (or was it a happy accident?). Get yours quick, because the "floppy disk sleeve" edition is limited to the number of old floppies they can dig up. Once the floppies are gone, so is this great package.
If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.