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The Protocol – Recess

The Protocol

We’ve all been to the hip bar downtown, where every Friday night there is sure to be that same band you’ve seen about nine times the past year is playing those same songs that you are so sick of hearing. So sick of the songs, that you can’t wait to hear the one they always play last. That’s the song where all the ladies get up, start screaming along to the words and dancing along. You’re gazing at the same girl you have been all night as she slurs through the token crowd sing-along part.

Sound familiar? Thank God for those local bands. They have found the formula to guarantee them a prime slot on a weekend and probably pull in close to a grand each time they play. They have their catchy tunes. They have their hits. Yet, they can’t quite seem to manage to make it past the hump.

The Protocol could be “that band” that you would see at least one Friday out of the month. They are the generic 3-piece alternative band. Nothing loud and aggressive, but rock’n’roll enough to cater to the men at the bar too. They play it safe, but are diverse enough to play a type of song that anyone in the crowd will like.

Recess starts off with a great one-two punch of catchy uptempo rock. “The Words You Didn’t Say” reminds me of dark U2, followed by the Cheap Trick sounding “Barcelona.” Simple guitar riffs and safe chord progressions continue through the record. “My Alyosha” is The Protocol’s ballad and one that really caught my ear.

Halfway through Recess, “Click” hits you. Now, I haven’t seen The Protocol, but I can guess that this is the fan favorite, and if so, I’m on board as well. Try as hard as I may to hate the song, with its annoying dial-up modem sound and trite lyrics involving rock stars loving porn stars, the chorus really gets stuck in my head. I imagine all the girls singing along. I imagine all the guys turning their heads away from the bar to watch The Protocol play this song. I bet it would be a fun experience.

While I don’t see Recess getting The Protocol nationwide rotation, I can see them continuing to be a successful local Seattle band in a bar filled with thirty-somethings. If you’re under 21, you’ll probably have to wait until you can experience bar bands to enjoy this CD.


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