The Protomen

A genuinely alternative band that had its roots in Middle Tennessee State University students pushing back against the instruction t hey had been given during their time in the school’s recording program, The Protomen built a career out of rock operas devoted to video games. Taking various bizarre stage names like Raul Panther III, Shock Magnum, Reanimator, and K.I.L.R.O.Y., the various members of the loose collective known as The Protomen first started to play together in 2004. In 2005 they self-released their self-titled debut album; fans would eventually refer to it as Act I. The LP was full of raw sounding punkish indie rock and the lyrics told a dark, dystopic story adapted from the storyline of the Nintendo video game Mega Man. Their follow-up, 2009’s Act II: The Father of Death continued the lyrical conceit of their first album acting as a prequel. They developed a live show that involved outrageous costumes, and a dedication to playing a variety of cover songs, a practice that led to 2012’s live album The Protomen Present: A Night of Queen, which consists almost entirely of reinterpretations of songs by the band Queen. That led to a studio album, 2015’s The Cover Up: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture, that consisting of covers. In true Protomen style, the album was not a soundtrack. In 2020 they issued Live in Nashville, a double live record that contained almost all the material from their first two albums as performed at a 2011 gig.

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