Protomartyr are a Detroit based post-punk band who with four records to their name, seem to do no wrong. Post-punk has always been my favourite genre and these guys, lead by vocalist Joe Casey, are reigniting the sound along with Savages, Preoccupations, Shame and to a certain degree, IDLES. These groups are making some incredible music and I’ve a feeling that we might get yet another wave of post-punk. However, this time it might be a little more dark than the the early 2000’s.
The record I want to tell you about today in ‘The Agent Intellect’, Protomartyr’s third. On my first listen I thought I had struck gold. I hadn’t heard anything like these guys in a long time and through them I found even more great bands, a few of which I named above. I’ve missed the sound and when I did need to hear it I feel back into the likes of Interpol for comfort. But too much comfort does no good. This record seems to have its own personality. It’s moody, with bursts of anger every now and then. It’s subtle and confident, brash but stylish. Essentially, it fucking rules. You hear this on tracks such as ‘Pontiac 87’ and ‘Why Does It Shake’, the latter of which melts me every time I hear it. The second half of the track has a drum beat that will have you shaking at the knees, a beat which builds into a ripping guitar solo that’s been smartly saved for the end of the record. “WHY DOES IT SHAKE, THE BODY, THE BODY, THE BODY”, ugh, stop. ‘Pontiac 87’ tells the story of when Joe Casey saw the Pope during a visit as a child and the massive riot that ensued afterward. The guitar on that track is sensational.
It’s actually a little foolish of me to talk about those two tracks sin particular because to be honest, the entire record is brilliant, so I should probably write an equal amount for each track. But that would be too long a blog post. ‘Uncle Mother’s’ is probably the only track that bothers me, it just doesn’t seem to fit. I heard this record before I heard their latest effort ‘Relatives In Decent’ and I have to say that this one is more complete. They do have two earlier records, one of which, ‘Under Color of Official Right‘, I’ve heard and it’s also a great record. I wouldn’t say that their more recent effort dipped in form, it’s just not as lively or meaningful. So if you’re looking to begin your Protomartyr journey, this is a good record to start with because it captures what I feel is their best sound.
Photo Credit: ProtmartyrBandcamp