Protected Left - Fossil (Cover Artwork)

Protected Left

Fossil (2019)


Oakland, California’s Protected Left blend punk and metal influences together to create a booming wall of sound on Fossil.

Protected Left play with an energetic melodic energy that belies the power of the band. They have a heavier sound than traditional skate punk bands with more of a metal-influence shining through in the songs on Fossil. The guitar blends the speed and power of thrash metal with the ferocity of punk rock while also making time for intricate, delicately picked solos that bring to mind the work of classic metal guitarists. This not only shows the range of the guitarist but adds a sonic experience to the songs that gives Protected Left a feeling of immense instrumental depth. The same can be said about the drums which set a frantic pace throughout, adding an undeniable energy that makes it feel like you need to move in order to keep up. The bass serves as a steady backbone, keeping everything on track and working to help build the songs up with each song.

The vocals are delivered in a melodic way that melds with the instrumentation. The vocals have a feeling of being farther away during some songs while still being very clear, making you focus on the lyrics more and sucking you into the song. Protected Left use gang vocals on several tracks each with their own style, from the collective chant of “I wish I had my old life back” on “Old Life” to the punky, slightly disjointed shouts on “Worst Part” to the melodic harmonies and punchy “yeahs” on “Reboot”.

“Get me/Past the worst part” Protected Left shout together with anger and frustration on “Worst Part”, the shortest song on Fossil. The song is about trying to get over negative feelings brought on by events that they want to forget, and the frustration felt when they can’t be ignored. With frantic, moshable beats and strong, shouty, slightly disjointed gang vocals the song has a classic skate-punk sound, albeit with the great metal-tinged sonic depth that Protected Left have built. “Worst Part” encourages you to shout along and vent your frustration through movement in order to get past the worst part and move ahead to better things.

Protected Left are establishing their own unique sound on Fossil. The seamlessly blend metal influences with punk to create a sound that is so full of vigorous energy you can’t helped but be moved by it and could easily serve as the soundtrack for a day at the skatepark. The songs are interesting and showcase the musical ability of every member of the band wonderfully. The band doesn’t rely on one set arrangement, making the songs sound unique and creative. The instruments seem to be turned up louder than the vocals on some tracks which works for the band’s style but at the same time it would be nice to have them a bit louder and to show more range. They have honest lyrics that speak of pain and while it may be hard to let go of and move on, they show that better times are on the horizon. Fossil is a solid album with Protected Left proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with.