August 14, 2001
Bobby Burns Eddie Wohl
Alternative metal nu metal
(the) New Release is the second and final studio album by American nu metal band Primer 55. Released on August 14, 2001, the album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #102 on the Billboard 200. It had one single, "This Life," which peaked at #37 on Mainstream Rock Tracks. This would be the band's only record with Island Records who allegedly cut support shortly after the album's release.
Primer 55 had underdone various lineup changes preceding and during the recording process of (the) New Release. After the band's first eighteen months of touring, guitarist Bobby Burns started writing the band's second major label album. He played all guitars and bass in the studio and brought in ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier. While in the studio, Burns also began talks with drummer Preston Nash of Dope with whom Primer 55 had previously toured. By May 2001, the band had officially recruited former Cut.Love.Kill bassist Chris Sprinkle but mere weeks later announced Kobie Jackson as their new bassist
Whereas the band's major label debut, Introduction to Mayhem, boasted strong nu metal and rap metal tendencies, (the) New Release demonstrated a broader variety with bluesy vocals, saxophone, and piano scattered throughout. Nevertheless, it generally showcases an aggressive nu metal sound comparable to contemporary bands of the early 21st century. Speaking on behalf of the musical approach, Burns noted, "I didn't know if anyone would understand what we were doing this time around. . . With this album we just did what we felt like doing."
Promotion and touring
By mid-May, Primer 55 announced the title and release date of their upcoming album as well as its lead single. A tentative track listing was announced in June but later modified. The band released various tracks from (the) New Release, including a rough mix of its upcoming single, on their official website in the months leading up to its release.
Although Burns had hoped to see "Texas" become the second single, (the) New Release featured only one single, the aggressive, industrial laden "This Life" which was released to radio on July 16. It had no accompanying video but gained moderate radio rotation in late summer and early fall of 2001. The track was also included on More Fast and Furious: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture The Fast and the Furious and Nu Rock Traxx, Vol. 32. Promotion was allegedly cut short by Island, forcing the album's success to rely heavily on touring.
From June through August, the group joined Fear Factory's The Evolution of Revolution tour. Primer 55 then supported Vision of Disorder for some August dates. and played at the Riverfront Rampage to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the WSOU college radio station in Newark, New Jersey. They also joined Slipknot's Pledge of Allegiance tour and performed into the following year.
In October 2002, bassist Kobie Jackson was asked to leave the band due to "personal and creative problems." He was temporarily replaced with Toomey, formerly of 12v Negative Earth. In November and December, Primer 55 played on the Jägermeister-sponsored $12 Riot Tour with Dope, Skinlab, and Society 1.
(the) New Release peaked at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #102 on the Billboard 200. The album's single, "This Life" peaked at #37 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In the week ending on November 11, the album's thirteenth week of release, SoundScan reported sales figures at 53,191.
However, despite debuting on the Billboard Top 200 and selling 15,000 copies in its first week, Island allegedly cut support for the album merely two months after its release. Guitarist Bobby Burns reflected on the matter in a 2008 interview, exclaiming, "It totally fucking sucked! The album was out two months then 9/11 happened and we got lost in that shuffle that was going on in New York at that time."
A music video was also allegedly in the works for "This Life," but in September 2001, Burns defused this claim, lamenting, "I have no idea what's going on with our label."
Allmusic's Michael Gallucci criticizes the album, declaring, "Plenty of other bands do this stuff a whole lot better and with much more conviction."
All tracks written by Burns/Luttrell.