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Protomartyr — The Agent Intellect


The Agent Intellect, out on Hardly Art, is the third album from Detroit post-punk outfit Protomartyr. The album is the band’s strongest to date and their most fully immersed in the influence of The Fall. Influences ranging from rock n roll to Black Flag, noise rock to Nick Cave (especially the vocals on “Boyce Or Boice”) are still present, but have been drawn inward, through a Joy Division-like atmosphere. While the Mark E. Smith-like vocals of Joe Casey form the focal point of the album, both in lyrical content and sheer presence, the pulse of each song comes from Alex Leonard’s drumming. If that wasn’t enough, Greg Ahee provides some of the most hypnotic hooks in ages. The deeply personal ethereal doom and gloom of The Agent Intellect is once again intrinsically tied to Detroit. Protomartyr’s guitar lines, like that of “Pontiac 87,” can feel more like cityscapes than anything else. With three albums in four years, let’s hope we can expect more from this band soon, and that it will continue on their present trajectory of inward expansion.

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