Over a half a decade ago, a group of 14 year olds decided that they all had the same vision and taste in music. They all wanted to write, record, and perform music in front of audiences all over the place. They named themselves Protest The Hero, and they consist of Rody Walker (lead vocals), Tim Millar (guitar, vocals), Luke Hoskin (lead guitars, vocals, piano), Moe Carlson (drums), and Arif Mirabdolbaghi (bass guitar, vocals). They bring a very unique sound to the table that sounds like a combination of The Mars Volta and the riffs of Between The Buried And Me. The next six years consisted of writing and performing music in their hometown Whitby, Ontario. They released Kezia, their American debut through Vagrant Records last April.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, PTH’s new album Kezia, (keh-zai-yah) is my pick for the best album of the year through the first half of 2006. The album is jumpstarted with the song “No Stars Over Bethlehem.” The song is started with a 30 second face melting guitar riff and then runs into Rody’s unique, yet amazing voice. The song is a great start to the album setting the pace for the rest of the way. The second song “Heretics & Killers”, is a lot more of the same thing without suffering from “different song same sound” syndrome. The third track “Divinity Within” is arguably the best track on the album. The beginning of the song sounds like it is going to be more hardcore riffs, and Rody’s ever-changing voice, however, the song ends with a piano solo that is the perfect end to the first three tracks of the song. The rest of the album roller coasters from a lot of hardcore riffs and the crazy yet also composed voice of Rody Walker, to the slowed down female vocals in some songs such as, “Turn Soonest To The Sea”, and “The Divine Suicide Of K.” Even after hearing just the first 15 seconds of each song, you can really appreciate the diversity and amazing skills of this band. PTH is just what America needed at this point in time. With so many kids listening to bands such as Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Hawthorne Heights (not to rip on any of those bands), Kezia is a perfect transition into a more mainstream culture. Listen and be prepared to be amazed.