The L.I.F.E. Project – “The L.I.F.E. Project” EP

The L.I.F.E. Project – “The L.I.F.E. Project” EP

19th July 2021 0 By Gavin Griffiths

Karen…if you’re reading this, you basic-ass bob-cut vanilla bitch, life isn’t defined by “Live. Laugh. Love.”, just because you found an inspirational piece of living-room décor browsing your local B&M store. Life is a deeper, multi-layered experience full of philosophy, growth, learning, compassion, mistakes, heartache, pain, happiness and a whole plethora of mixed emotions and circumstances in between. (And if you don’t like it, you can go and speak to my manager). 

Of course, I jest, life is far more than any one person’s opinion, and far bigger than any single organisations practices or preaching’s, but at the same time it’s a very personal, individual experience that has a different path for each and every one of us. Some good, some bad, but such IS life. And this is exactly what we will be potentially exploring with today’s band; THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT. 

Consisting primarily of vocalist Casandra Carlson of PARALANDRA, and Josh Rand of STONE SOUR, the pair have collaborated with a collection of musicians to release their self-titled side-project EP, through BLOODBLAST DISTRIBUTION. Let’s hit the play button and go all Monty Python, as we learn about their meaning of life… 

The EP appropriately gets underway with “Ignite”, or at least we’d like to hope, and to be fair it’s an initially promising start. The bass-driven guitar work and percussion, accompanied by Casandra’s gravelly vocals give this an immediate hard-rock, semi-metal vibe, and when she hits that chorus, credit to her she properly belts this one out. In its own ways it’s like a combination of THE PRETTY RECKLESS and IN THIS MOMENT, with its rock and roll swagger yet with subtle darker undertones. 

Follow up track “Purgatory” maintains this approach albeit at a slower tempo, and while the instrumentation is more restrained, it shines more of a spotlight on Casandra’s vocals as she fleets between the grittier, almost cliched rock vocal and cleaner notes, and to be fair she displays an impressive range. She holds all of her notes wonderfully but here, more so than the first track, there’s a sense of repetition that isn’t aided by the track’s length. It feels needlessly drawn out as a track creatively.

Midway point “The Nothingness” returns to the more up-tempo, almost insurgent pacing and you can sense the conceptual sarcasm in the performance here. There’s plenty going on with some solid guitar work and assertive vocals and it’s a decent offering overall; consistent and bold with its lyrical simplicity and it can’t really be faulted.

Suddenly however, out of the blue like when you stumble upon a shiny Pokemon, we get “Worthwhile”, and truth be told, this entire EP is worthwhile purely for this track alone. It’s not BECAUSE of its complete departure, but the far softer piano-led approach, allows Casandra to not give-in to hard rock stereotypes and sing naturally, and her voice, along with the song-structure and instrumentation here is beautiful. This meanders so delicately while having a great melodic hook and frankly deserves all of the attention. Absolute quality stuff. 

We close up with “A World On Fire” and to be perfectly honest, it could be. I could be on fire as we speak, and I wouldn’t really care, as I’d be back-skipping a track. Speaking frankly, track five is redundant, because of track four. Nothing personal but things are just anticlimactic now. Regardless, this is a solid EP overall and in terms of its genre brackets and pigeonholing, this is easily a small collection of tracks that fans of rock and metal, generically, could probably easily enjoy. It’s far from a ground breaking EP, but it ticks all the right boxes for hard rock fans.

The thing is, if I may paraphrase Chris and Steve-O from WILDBOYZ, what have we learnt today about life in general? Absolutely nothing at all!

Score: 6/10

Track List:

  1. “Ignite”
  2. “Purgatory”
  3. “The Nothingness”
  4. “Worthwhile”
  5. “A World On Fire”

    Record Label: Bloodblast Distribution

    Release Date: July 9th

    For all things The L.I.F.E. Project, click HERE and to purchase the E.P, click HERE


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