Protomartyr: “Relatives In Descent” Album Review

Written By: Filip Teovanovic


Originality: (4.0 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (5.0 / 5)
Lyrics: (5.0 / 5)
Production: (4.0 / 5)
Average: (4.5 / 5)

Ready for another political record? Ready to relate to precise articulation of the global political climate? I don’t know about you, but I was never more ready for art that reflects current status quo. Post-punk quartet from Detroit is making a comeback two years after critically acclaimed The Agent Intelligent with new top-notch material titled Relatives In Descent. They are serving us 12 new songs filled with necessary dose of dirty guitar sound. I am a dirty guitar sound addict, so I am exuberant that I am finally getting an appropriate fix.

Joe Casey, humble leader of this collective, makes Protomartyr stand out from the mediocre bunch with specific poetic expression and idiosyncratic vocal. The rest of the music crew perfectly complements frontman’s melodic demands. The members of the band have consistently noted that this is not a conceptual record, although it is obvious that that there is a synapse connecting all the jams into an effective whole that gives this complete material recognizable magic we have all got enchanted with.

This time, Casey attempts to determine what is true in the world of alternative facts. He deconstructs hard and brave path of ordinary man while the world around him is deteriorating. We might also say he is questioning his position in the new dark ages. The first single “A Private Understanding” illustrates the previous statement with verses ‘In this age of blasting trumpets, Paradise for fools, Infinite wraths, In the lowest deep a lower depth, I don’t want to hear those vile trumpets anymore.’

Conspicuous political connotation reveals his condition of anxiety as well. The listener can easily connect to the band’s state of mind considering this mess we live in. “Here Is The Thing” instantly captivates with groove and frequent sonic shifts alongside Casey’s intelligent reflections. Mean drone sound is the main force in “Windsor Hum”, while “My Children” is another highlight moving from obscure, perplexing rhythm to absolute explosion in the middle. Guitarist Greg Ahee gets all my praises here, although a rhythm section comprised of drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson has its own remarkable moments. Kudos to everyone in Protomartyr, I believe the album wouldn’t sound the same If any of the members were absent.

If your soul is drawn to Nick Cave, Parquet Courts, Iceage or Mark E. Smith, I believe Protomartyr will be your new sonic ambrosia. I am glad I have a chance to enjoy the music of a band that is in their creative zenith.