Protomartyr – ‘Under Color Of Official Right’

Former doorman turned indie observer Joe Casey delivers a deadpan missive on Detroit's social pitfalls

Protomartyr’s singer used to be a doorman. Watching Detroit from his kiosk, Joe Casey – who looks like a disgruntled middle manager after a cocaine breakfast – cultivated a rueful perspective that personifies their pissed­-off punk. They released a bilious debut in 2012, but its follow-up is a more subtle piece of social commentary. Needly bass, tumultuous drums and big, dirty guitars careen beneath Casey’s deadpan delivery, building riotously enjoyable labyrinthine passages that lead to nowhere, though Protomartyr make the journey feel essential. ‘Pagans’ and ‘Violent’, particularly, evoke the depressing realisation that Detroit is tough; that you’ll just have to accept your beer gut, bald patch and shitty job. As Casey surmises on closer ‘I’ll Take That Applause’: “Nothing ever after”.

Ben Homewood



  • Record label: Hardly Art
  • Release date: 21 Apr, 2014