American Post-Punk Protomartyr have been kicking about since 2008 when the four-piece first came together in Detroit. A recent discovery for me, I have some catching up to do before their third studio album, The Agent Intellect, is released this October.
Their new album title derives from a concept that originated in ancient and medieval philosophy, which was first hypothesized by Aristotle. The theory deals with how the mind operates in relation to itself and seems like a perfectly apt title considering how Protomartyr’s lyrics are often orientated around the self-discovery and exploration of the self.
What captured my attention today and lured me into their punk rocking arms was the sound of their new single ‘Why Does It Shake’. This is four and a half minutes of rolling drums, shady angst and a gripping melody that peaks and drops with edgy anticipation. Halfway through the track the tempo changes and it all goes a little Mark E Smith which, when I discovered how they have often been likened to The Fall, came as no surprise for they run with the same moody, guitar-driven sound. Amidst this altered pace comes the call of vocalist Joe Casey who asks, ‘why does it shake’, to which a repeated response echoes ‘the body, the body, the body’. It’s a great moment, the pace drops and the beat subsides but never stops bubbling just below the surface.
Singer Joe Casey had this to say about the first single, ‘Why Does It Shake?’, “That was something my mom said one day out of the blue. I think she was asking about the tremors in her hand. It seemed like a valid question that really didn’t have an easy answer.”
The Agent Intellect will be released October 9 via Hardly Art
Meanwhile you can catch Protomartyr on their world tour here