Who? Protokoll’s lead singer Jose De Lara and guitarist/synth maestro Ben Greenspan first played together as members of a Boston band called Black Freighter. While working the local basement circuit, they met bassist Daniel O’Neill and later, drummer Reid Calkin. The quartet set out to promote their brooding new wave dance rock with relentless touring, including a U.K. trip they booked themselves that earned them the attention of BBC DJ Steve Lamacq. Their eponymous EP, which was originally self-released, is now out on IHEARTCOMIX, and a full-length record is scheduled for early 2007.
What’s the Deal? Similar to the Editors but scrappier, Protokoll play dark, danceable neo post-punk. The band layers jerky guitars and 80s-style synths on the bouncy “Sunken,” while the moodier “Holy Divine” recalls Joy Division, an obvious influence (“I’ll see you in heaven,” De Lara sings with a deep, deliberately monotone delivery). Plenty of bands have mined this territory, but Protokoll’s EP demonstrates the quartet prefers substance to style.
Fun Fact: Protokoll used a drum machine before Calkin asked to join the band, which he did via a drunken IM. CHRISTINE RICHMOND
Now Hear This: Protokoll – “Sunken” DOWNLOAD MP3
Now Watch This: Protokoll – “DNR”
On SPIN.com: Protokoll’s William Blake-Inspired Cut
Talk: Is this band following the proper rock protocol? COMMENT
On the Web: protokoll.us