Protomartyr, Amanda X, Negative Scanner | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Zak Bratto

Protomartyr, Amanda X, Negative Scanner 

When: Sun., Jan. 24, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $15
The withdrawn nonchalance of Joe Casey’s baritone vocals and the wary he approaches a mike as though it’s going to reprimand him have always been less a part of Protomartyr’s luster and more of a principled approach. The Detroit band revolves around the supposed indifference of its front man, and while last year’s The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art)—with its dissonant but slashing guitar chords and bare but chugging rhythms—certainly flaunts the same wayward attitude as their awesome 2014 album Under Color of Official Right, it features Casey with a little something extra sticking in his craw. The fanned flames undoubtedly have something to do with the ascension of Protomartyr too. No longer your favorite secret, the foursome have now released three excellent full-lengths of smoldering postpunk—and a bigger audience sometimes means you have to get a little louder and a little more assertive. Tracks like “Cowards Starve” and “Pontiac 87”—the latter a reference to the Pope’s visit to Michigan in 1987—practically have sing-alongs built right in. Because Casey wants you to revel in his grief. Misery does love company after all.
— Kevin Warwick



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