Protagonist - The Chronicle (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Chronicle (2009)

Paper + Plastick

Paper Plastick could definitely help the melodic punk diversity of its roster with a few melodic hardcore additions, and one such act, Protagonist might be a good candidate to assist in mixing it up. Unfortunately, their perfectly average label debut, The Chronicle, doesn't quite stack up.

This is assuredly melodic hardcore of the Strike Anywhere variety, done well enough, but without an extra ingredient to make it stick or invigorate. Mostly instrumental opener "Play Hard Play Fast Play Together" could benefit from being peppered with a few more lyrical inclusions instead of its bundle of riffs that come at the immediate outset. "Light the Fuse" is a more well-conceived blast of Exit English-esque melodic fury and utilizes their partially versatile vocals a little more successfully, although a lot of it feels like it's been done before in a pretty direct manner. There's a definite Bouncing Souls bassline thumping around "1095 Days" to give the album a sudden, slight genre reach-around. "From Florida to Philadelphia" does the same, except with a weird, poppy street punk vibe that doesn't quite gibe with the rest of the album.

If nothing else, The Chronicle sounds fantastic. The recording is punchy and the songs sound full-bodied and polished to the perfect level. I can't find credits anywhere, really, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was recorded at the Blasting Room.

Still, The Chronicle is missing an extra 'oomph' to take Protagonist's predecessors' sound into at least partially new or exciting territory. One could easily imagine Protagonist doing it on their next release, but this album doesn't quite chronicle it.