Boston-based rock quartet Protokoll is yet another partaker in the ongoing ‘80s renaissance, a competent if uninspired bullet of detached Interpol strut with a caffeinated prog jolt. Like other full-grown children of the ‘80s, Protokoll balances its New Wave disaffectedness with technical sheen; its self-titled EP is marked by upbeat-favoring disco drums, guitars that shine like sunlight off metal, synths that are neither ironic nor cheesy, and a deep-voiced singer who drops ice cubes into the whole unyielding concoction. The first two tracks, “Moving Forward” and “Holy Divine”, may be arresting facelifts of a familiar sound, but as Protokoll churns on, the waves of emotional estrangement are all a little too crushing to overcome.
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// Notes from the Road
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