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Protocol: V

Simon Phillips needs no introduction, but I will do one anyway! Drummer extraordinaire, song writer, producer, sideman, session musician, he’s played every role imaginable. Protocol is Simon’s fusion band, and for those who say they don’t listen to new music, if you are a fan of this genre, you are missing out. Yes, the 70’s produced legends that we still listen to today, but don’t rob yourself of an opportunity to hear music that is new, vital, and stands up to the classics.

“Jagannath” introduces us to the new members, and all come flying out of the gate. Alex Sill ably steps into Greg Howe’s shoes and is on fire. The addition of Jacob Scesney on Saxophone is most welcome; he and Sill blend together, playing lines in unison. Only bassist Ernest Tibbs returns from the “4” album lineup, creating a formidable rhythm section with Mr. Phillips. Sill makes his presence known on “Isosceles” leaving no doubt he is a force to be reckoned with on guitar. “Nyanga” slows things down a bit, but that combination of Sill and Scesney work magic. Keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz gets some solo time, another great addition to this moody atmospheric track. The melodies in “Undeviginti” will swirl and stick in your brain, and honestly that can be said for this album, memorable. Each member has the chance to shine, but work as a unit, and if you have watched any live videos, this is a formidable unit. The playful “When The Cat’s Away” is tight, funky, and feels like the song where the band could really get grooving live. “Dark Star” is a moody slower track, but Sill and Scesney really sing on this one, more beautiful melodies to found. The final track “The Long Road Home” clocks in at 11+ minutes and serves as a powerful ending to as fantastic album. The opening riff reminds me of Van Halen’s “Right Here, Right Now”.

I will wear my heart on my sleeve; Protocol has quickly become one of my favorite bands. They have it all, but most importantly, the songs are what stand out, and this is a great listen from start to finish.

Track Listing

  1. Jagannath
  2. Isosceles
  3. Nyanga
  4. Undeviginti
  5. When The Cat’s Away
  6. Dark Star
  7. The Long Road Home

Added: February 13th 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 558
Language: english

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