Auckland-based trio The Protection are Ben Sinclair (formerly of The Beths) on guitar, Callum Passells of Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes on drums, and veteran Siobhan Leilani on bass, with all three adding vocals.
The Protection describe themselves as a power-trio specialising in fast drumming, lethal guitar and ploughing bass lines – and based on the evidence of this first album they are certainly on the mark with that description. Their debut is an exercise in simple but catchy pop tunes, full of melody, harmony and often humorous lyrics. It’s almost like they have taken the best elements of their previous groups and combined them with their own unique quirky style of songwriting.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Mintmobile are funny personal takes on things such as Passell’s experience with CTS and his mint-coloured car, showing that the band do not take themselves too seriously and are here to have fun, lyrically at least.
Despite the not so serious aspects, these are very much serious musicians, and tracks such as Ideal One, Miss Long Legs and The Protection showcase strongly the abilities of each on their instrument. This is all the more impressive with the knowledge that two of the three are not playing their preferred instrument on this record, Sinclair moving from the bass to guitar and Passells shifting from saxophone to drums.
All up this debut album is a fun catchy pop affair which readily keeps the listener entertained. Great harmonies and infectious pop melodies are mixed in with the band’s own unique humour, which they use to good effect in the lyrics. Whether this is a one-off collaboration or a more permanent arrangement remains to be seen, however, the ingredients are certainly there for The Protection to build on.