Who knew awesome rock grew out of Nashville, TN?
Enter The Protomen, an obscure band who makes their way through the world of modern rock by creating a continuous rock-opera-like set of songs based on (of all things) the MegaMan video game series. Think Coheed and Cambria but with less of the death and dismemberment. Their songs take a simple video game back story and make it into a dramatic life-story spanning battle of one scientist against the oppression of the corporate science used to enslave society.
One of the best parts of their style (if it can be called that) is its ambiguity. The Protomen seem to borrow from any genre that fits the feel of the story portion they wish to convey in the song. For example, on their first self-titled album, the song "Unrest in the House of Light" is a wild-west romp through the thoughts of Dr. Light, appropriate to the message of the song and the character singing, while "Breaking Out" from their second album, Act II: The Father of Death , is worth of the stage on Broadway with the best of modern rock operas.
Both albums tell a story almost reminiscent of early Springsteen (think Greetings from Asbury Park) and are a rollicking good listen.
It occurs to me, I may like them because I enjoyed the game when I was younger (and still do), but also because they add brilliant back story that simply can't be conveyed on the screen.
It should be added little is known about the actual band, save for the fact they dress in helmets and emulate the characters....and they're from Tennesee...
- RIYL: Coheed and Cambria, Old Springsteen, Rush, Arm Cannon
- Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
- Available at: iTunes, www.protomen.com, myspace