Under Color of Official Right

The Detroit guitar boys in Protomartyr totally nail the sound of youthful melancholy. Joe Casey sings every line like he's the drunkest guy in the bar, fighting to keep on his feet for one more round. All over their superbly funny second album, Protomartyr chase the post-punk guitar buzz of classic American bands like the Dream Syndicate, while also evoking raincoat-clad Brits like the Wedding Present. "Maidenhead" could be the Smiths, except with an even more miserable singer. In "Tarpeian Rock," Casey rails against a long list of things that suck – "greedy bastards," "gluten fascists," "rich crusties," "terrible bartenders" and "most bands ever." Not this band, though.

From The Archives Issue 1208: May 8, 2014