‘The Agent Intellect’ is the third release from Detroit post-punk band Protomartyr (featuring Joe Casey on vocals, Greg Ahee on guitar, Alex Leonard on drums and Scott Davidson on bass guitar). Frontman Joe Casey describes the sample track ‘Why Does It Shake?’ as a "back-handed ode to humanity's resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” It’s a dark, seething industrial track with an aggressive undercurrent that sounds a bit like Joy Division.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 07 October 2015Did I imagine it or did I really like Protomartyr’s previous record ‘ Under the Colour of Official Right‘? Because listening to this third album it just doesn’t sound like the sort of thing I’d ever champion. Opener ‘The Devils in his Youth’ sounds like King Krule fronting Interpol. The vocals are kind of irritating - a Strummer snot - the music isn’t too bad with John McGeoch style guitars set to ‘mountain pass’ but the two just don’t gel together. This sounds to me like not much more than ok-ish post punk. ‘Cowards Starve’ plods, the verse has just two chords - they go back and forth - it could have been sung by anyone - the vocals add precisely nothing. Apart from sounding marginally like Parquet Courts there’s nothing here that I can really recommend. The whole thing appears to be rather flat and lifeless to me and on initial listening nothing is sticking. ‘Boyce or Boice’ sounds a little like a monochrome Warm Widow with some seriously Mark E Smith aping vocals, . To save my sanity I’ve gone back to have a listen to ‘ Under Colour of Official Right‘ and it's waaaaay more dynamic. Not sure what has happened here - it’s like they’ve had their balls removed.
9/10 DeskJockey Customer review, 3rd August 2016
I don't normally post reviews but I couldn't let Clinton get away with this one! No-one should be put off buying this.
On first listen I agreed with your man Clinton, but I perservered a few months later and wow what a record. On constant rotation. A step up from the last one. I recently went back to the first and this is a big step up.
So, I implore anyone to buy this if you're into post punk or whatever that means. Up there with Ought in terms of what they do. Would love to see them live.
Give it another chance Clinton .... (will do - Clint)
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- The Agent Intellect by Protomartyr
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