The anticipation is finally over: Project Phoenix, the new CD from Fiction 8, is now out. And was it ever worth the wait.
The new disc represents a significant step forward for the band. Most notably, bassist Mardi Salazar has assumed a much greater role in the creative process, writing and singing about half the tracks on the album. Her contributions afford Project Phoenix a rich balance, both tonally and lyrically. Mike’s angst and cynicism are still evident, but are tempered by Mardi’s softer, more haunting approach.
Or maybe “softer” isn’t quite the right word here. F8’s music is unambiguously darkpop – industrial with goth overtones, but essentially pop in structure. Smith’s songs have always hit like a boot to the gut. Sometimes the rage is palpable, other times muted beneath layers of self-doubt, but even his most thoughtful moments – and perhaps especially his most thoughtful moments – leave some part of you hurting.(More)