The Projection – While You Were Out – Review

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Taking the path less traveled and starting a band the good ol’ fashioned way with DIY hardwork and spray-and-pray guerrilla marketing, the pop-punk trio The Projection have been playing together for several years now (vocalist Jacques LaMore having started the outfit we he was 12) and have already toured with such popular acts as There For Tomorrow, Ivoryline, and Thieves and Villains. Recently the band was able to stuff themselves into a cramped studio with producer Enoch Jensen (The Used, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) long enough to record their sophomore full-length “While You Were Out” which looks to outshine and (outsell) their 2009 debut record “Thanks For Caring.” Well, those are at least the projections we have. ::chuckle::

Like most pop-punk albums, “While You Were Out” wastes no time beginning with a renewed precocious gusto, piling on the quick, harmonious hooks and well-timed poppy percussion. Initial thoughts were that it was basic non-offensive music that prides itself on coloring in-between the lines. It wasn’t until I listened to “Cross The Line” though that I realized The Projection had subconsciously taken some familiar riffs from early-era New Found Glory and re-tooled them as their own, which was shortly before I had the epiphany that most of pop-punk is a general blue print that most acts mimic over and over again. No harm, no foul I suppose, while it zapped much of the positive energy and momentum the record started with it’s energetic start.

The effort’s pro’s such as the plucky basslines in songs like “Florida” and the re-imagined 50′s track ”Oh, Boy!” as well as the enjoyably mellow acoustic sing-a-long tracks “Just Be Yourself” and the replay-friendly, acoustic/electric, croon-fest “Always Remember,” are the more passionate entries and therefore pull harder at the heart strings. I personally don’t mind a few songs that seek to get the blood pumping with infectious hooks, repeated verses/choruses, anthem vocal backing, and a sturdy helping of power chords, but when I have to decide between listening to the steady plain improvement of The Projection or loop the creative musicianship and wacky antics of bands like Hit The Lights or The Wonder Years, and I’m afraid the answer is clear. Especially with such purposefully silly lyrics like “Trying To Forget“‘s American Hi-Fi-esque lyrics, “This is a song for the broken hearted. Head over heels, you’re feeling retarded.

While You Were Out” likes to walk along a beaten path and the album takes a few spins before it gets into your head fully, but when it gets there, only the best of their peers will dislodge them. The Projection are steadily on the up-and up, maturing as musicians and making catchy music, which include a few personal musical gems, along the way; which should give you pause before you disown them for bland imitation. It might be hard for some though. [Staff]

Score: 3 (out of 5)

Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Record Label: None
Genre: Pop-Punk
RIYL: New Found Glory, The Wonder Years, Mariana’s Trench

Track Listing:
1. While You Were Out
2. Cross The Line
3. Florida
4. Always Remember
5. Not A Day Goes By
6. Trying To Forget
7. Rock Stars
8. Just Be Yourself
9. Your Song
10. Oh, Boy! (Bonus)

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