Protomartyr have released their sophomore album entitled Under Color of Official Right. The Detroit foursome produced an album that is a clever amalgam of different genre, leaving any Protomartyr newbie perplexed as to how to accurately describe the little gem he or she just listened to. I speak from experience.
Yes, it is puzzling, but the band’s refusal to be labelled or be put in one genre corner makes it so that the 14 song (huge!) LP has something for everyone. You’ve got your punk scorcher “Son of Dis”, Pixie-esque swayer “Tarpeian Rock” and poignant hypnotizer “Come & See”, to name a few. Some of you will dance, others will jump, others will sing along.
A contemporary mesh of the sort can sometime lead to questions. Is the band trying too hard to be original? Are they still experimenting? The feeling you get from Under Color of Official Right is a flat out: no. They are being themselves in the most honest, unpretentious way possible, taking every little influence and life lesson they’ve gathered over the years and blending it all together. Its New Wave Garage rock, with hints of catchy pop, punk, gothic and indie rock. Though sometimes illogical or messy in theory, Protomartyr confirm that it works in practice.
Joe Casey’s uniquely raw, almost spoken vocals are the steady glue that brings uniformity to the album. The rest of the band – bassist Scott Davison, drummer Alex Leonard and guitarist Alex Ahee – showcase different musical genre through killer riffs and steady beats. They brilliantly showcase their aptitude to marry their versatility with the steadiness of Casey’s voice and create something truly unique. It’s one thing to play a wide variety of songs, but to play them equally well is a challenge in itself. And each member of Protomartyr do just that. There’s no lack of talent here, folks.
About Caroline Royer
NUMTL Founder and Editor-in-chief, Caroline is an Ottawa-born Montrealer who has spent the better part of her life playing and listening to music. Otherwise, she is a diehard Sens fan, freakishly into architecture and industrial design and terrible at staying put for more than 5 minutes.