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Story-Based Concept Album

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Album Review

Story-Based Concept Album is precisely as claimed, a concept album illustrated by a graphic novel booklet. Which sounds simple enough, until you take a look at the collective that was created to bring the set to fruition. But let's back up. The T4 Project was Shannon Saint Ryan's unwieldy baby, a daydream of a set featuring a fantasy list of players, the cream of the punk scene. But through perseverance and good fortune, the T4 Project came into being as more and more musicians climbed on board. The album started taking shape, artists were employed, and eventually the set emerged much as Saint Ryan had always envisioned. Set in an uber-horror-land not far removed from contemporary America, the songs vividly describe the world and tell the tragic tale of two young discontents caught up in a cycle of hatred and violence, whose chains are finally broken at album's end. Interspersing the musical numbers are faux commercials and political commentary, all dripping with irony, sarcasm, and humor. The lyrics are heavy-handed, but then this is an unashamed polemic, and the power of the words are echoed by the power of the music, for Saint Ryan enlisted some heavy hitting talent. Members of Pennywise, Bad Religion, Porno for Pyros, Strung Out, Conflict, Subhumans, Buzzcocks and many, many more musicians, 13 in all, participated. All left a mark on the sound, although Pennywise and Bad Religion are arguably Saint Ryan's largest influences. Just to hear all these musicians playing in various combinations is worth the price of admission, but the message is one that demands hearing as well. Who says dreams can't come true?


Formed: 2003 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The historical view is that punk rock was invented to save the spirit of rock & roll from the bloated excess of the mid-'70s, the worst of which was embodied in that symbol of the prog rock era, the concept album. The T4 Project debuted 30 years later with an album as outlandishly over the top as those cracked, star-studded mid-'70s rock operas about experimental flying aces and Viking explorers by Hawkwind's Robert Calvert. Descriptively titled Story-Based Concept Album, the record is an amalgam...
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Story-Based Concept Album, The T4 Project
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