Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Proton Packs- Space Opera

"Earth is in danger.
The evil black hole maker has released a horde of deadly skulltron robots upon our galaxy.
His purpose is to annihilate the human race, in order to make way for the Octomoles,
A breed of soulless aliens at his command.
Only Adam Gunn, the last member of an ancient dynasty of space warriors,
Called the Superspeeders can stop him now.
He and his lover Evelyn embark on a frightful journey to free the cosmos from this staggering threat.
Will they succeed? Will they survive?
Many questions cloud your heart right now, you will be answered, in time.
Let the Space Opera begin!"

There's no way I could set up an intro for this review that would be as good or better than the band's intro inside the album cover so there it is! The Proton Packs are a band based out of Tuscany, Italy since 2005. They've had a few previous releases and in seeing one was coming out on the always reliable for quality label, One Chord Wonder, I decided to check it out! It's pretty cool so that's what I'll be telling you about this time, a record called "Space Opera".

The songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered during late 2013 at New Mood Recordings Studio by Frederic Mazzei who always does a great job with sound. Producer credits go to both Frederic and Proton Packs. Now look at that cover... you're thinking, "HOLY SHIT THAT IS AWESOME", right? I am! It along with the layout was created by the magnificent talents of none other than Riccardo Bucchioni, the man behind the imagery of many greats such as Screeching Weasel and Dan Vapid And The Cheats. Bravo, Riccardo!! That cover is a work of art and I love the way he always seems to connect so perfectly with great care to the music of bands he does work for through his fantastic imagery. It should totally be a poster! Make sure to stay updated with his facebook page and new design company, Keymaster Inc. The record was released on June 5th by the as before mentioned One Chord Wonder Records. There are only 150 LPs in the release making it pretty limited with 125 being on standard black and then 25 on clear vinyl. It of course comes with a digital download and for those of you who want digital only, you can buy it off the OCW bandcamp. Their prices are very fair too, check it out.

I think it's quite obvious in looking at the cover that a sci-fi theme can be expected in the music from this band who also has labeled their style as Ecto-Punk. I really like it! In terms of sound, think pop punk to punk rock played under a heavy influence of The Lillingtons from Death By Television and beyond with a ton of neat little touches through sound effects, then of course their own unique presence. Killer guitars, bass lines, and strong drumming. That's all you really need to deliver a good punk rock song. They really did create an atmosphere between that and the lyrics to give a strong representation of the concept. The tale of "Space Opera" starts with "Blood On The Milky Way", an introduction to the state of the galaxy and Adam Gunn the superspeeder. Kick ass lead on that one. Through each track you'll get a piece of the story. I really dig the idea because it's incentive to listen from front to back and that's the way it should always be with a record like this. Also the fact that the guys all participated vocally is awesome giving a great range to the characters and plot. Some of my favorite tracks were "Made Of Steel", "Death Ray Death", "Black Hole Maker", and "Breakout!" as my top pick. The lead vocal in that one is my favorite out of the four too. 

In closing, the two main points are: First, "Space Opera" is simply just a fun and nice little break away from the typical expectation of a pop punk/punk rock record. Second, Proton Packs did a GREAT job with approaching the not so easy to do concept album. So is the hope of the galaxy's fate which rests in the hands of Adam Gunn and Evelyn going to survive? Guess you gotta go pick up the album to find out! Give it a listen and place your order with One Chord Wonder, I think it's a solid choice. 

Proton Packs are...
Brodie- Lead Guitar, Vocals
El Leon Blanco- Bass Guitar, Vocals
Alex- Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Matt- Precussions, Vocals

All songs by Proton Packs

1. Blood On The Milky Way
2. Mission For The Earth
3. Made Of Steel
4. Starkiller
5. Death Ray Death
6. The Storm
7. Black Hole Maker
8. Stuck On Alpha
9. Breakout!
10. Final Fight
11. Ruins Of The Galaxy
12. Master Of The Universe

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