PROTAGONIST: Jean Jackets in June: 10” EP

All right, Protagonist, I’ll chalk this one up to not knowing your audience. This is cookie cutter mall punk, only fifteen years too late. There’s a whole shtick here that I just can’t gel with. The ultra-slick vocal production, the borderline pop emo choruses, the black button-down shirts and white tie collaboration happening on your torsos. There’s a song or two on this record I could see working for me under different production techniques or with a different energy, but even those remind me of other songs. (Guys, that part in “Hideaway” totally makes me think of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”) At its best, the music reminds me of a sloppier Lagwagon. That’s the best I can say. –Bryan Static (Smart Punk / Fond Of Life)