The Pros: 'Limited Scope'

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Note: This week, Second Stage is featuring artists from the RPM Challenge, 'The Wire' magazine's annual open invitation for musicians to produce an entire album in the shortest month of the year, February. Check out the website to learn about this year's challenge.

Putting together an entire album in twenty-eight days is difficult enough for a lone musician. Throw a couple more people into the mix, and things get even more complicated—especially for The Pros, a band with a constantly changing roster that technically split up in 2003. But these are minor complications for this Durham, New Hampshire-based group which decided to put its current musical projects on hold and reunite to "wrap up some unfinished business." Though the band's members have all participated in the RPM Challenge before, Patrick Boutwell, Jon Biggs, and Nate Hastings took on the task this year with renewed energy.

What's interesting about The Pros is the segment of music they represent in the Challenge. The group's 2009 RPM Challenge album, Blue Ribbon, is neither quiet, folk made in a bedroom or solely instrumental/techno music. Instead, The Pros make straight rock music, complete with catchy guitar riffs, drums (instead of a drum machine), thumping bass lines, keyboard parts, and energized vocals. In their highlighted track, "Limited Scope," it is hard not to detect strong traces of Blue Album-era Weezer.

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