Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Protectors 'The Stem & Leaf' EP Review

The Stem & Leaf

Another first for Philophobia Music; a 12 inch Vinyl. Sweet. And Protectors too, one of Rhubarb Bomb’s fave bands. A perfect combo?

Protectors feature members from a range of classic Wakefield bands, but I don’t want to mention them. And hopefully this will be the last time I even mention that mere fact as ‘The Stem & Leaf’ sees them finally move out of those long, tremendous shadows and establish themselves fully as an awesome band to rank amongst their past successes.

The Protectors sound is so ingrained into my understanding of Wakefield’s DNA that I find it difficult to pick apart. That’s not to say they are in any way atypical; rather that they seem timeless and current at the same time. Equally difficult is that they make it all sound so damn easy.

Basically we have beautiful, weaving vocal melodies snaking their way around energised, direct, smart and heartwarming songwriting, delivered in a super sweet guitar pop package. I say ‘basically’… Protectors do a great thing of being incredibly pop and accessible but never, ever boring. You want to bounce around and go nuts, but closer inspection reveals a genuine life affirming heart at its core, working in perfect harmony with a clued up punk Brain. Like I said, timeless and of the moment, at the same time.

There, I’ve tried describing the experience. With more a specific look at what we have, 2 of the tracks here appeared on Protectors debut album ‘Cant Shake The Moves’. As much as I enjoyed that album, it felt rather like a means to release their first batch of tunes – get them out there for people to hear. This feels much more a thought-out, purpose built piece and the 2 tracks already released benefit greatly from their remixes. The new tracks work in the anthemic qualities that made Pylon (oops! I couldn’t resist) such a joy; the pounding thrill of ‘Overtime’, the uplifting drive of ‘The Carousel’ and the gentle melancholy of ‘Shake The Moves’ all combine to successfully convey the essence of what makes Protectors so great.

It’s a great package and I cant wait to get hold of one (Yes I have a promo, but I wanna actually, y’know, buy it too. I’m sure that’s hard to understand). Solid Gold Hit, as they maybe used to say.

Dean Freeman

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