Local heroes Protomartyr open up the new season of musical events at MOCAD tomorrow night. You can still purchase tickets here.
I like MOCAD's press release a lot so I'm going to quote it here, OK: "In a city full of brilliant people with dead-end jobs and dampened by bitter-cold winters, playing music offers a cheap outlet. Protomartyr's taut, austere rock was incubated in a freezing Detroit warehouse littered with beer cans and cigarette butts and warmed, feebly, by space heaters. Short songs made for short practices, and the band learned quickly not to waste time."
"Despite the cold, Protomartyr emerged with a sound that is idiosyncratic but relatable, hooky but off-kilter. There's a temptation to call it garage rock, but that doesn't quite fit. With respect to the local predecessors, this isn't the primitive stomp of The Dirtbombs or The Stooges' greasy roar."
"Punk works, kind of, even if it leaves the hardcore kids confused. Post-punk suggests something too retro; indie rock, something too precious. What Protomartyr is, is "stuck between the cracks." If that's the case, though, they aren't alone."
"Protomartyr's economical rock elicits comparisons to possible antecedents like Pere Ubu or The Fall as well as local contemporaries like Frustrations or Tyvek (whose frontman Kevin Boyer played bass in an early iteration of Protomartyr)."
"Singer Joe Casey's dry declarative snarl serves as a reliable anchor, granting his bandmatesguitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidsonthe opportunity to explore textures and reinforce the rhythm section. In other words, to "[mess] around a little bit more."
Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...