Posts Tagged ‘Protomartyr’

Each year we share MM’s contributors’ personal favourites of the year. Kicking us off is a fine selection from the Italian Job. Buon Lavoro.

20. Lød – Folder

 

19. BAIT – Push The Elephant

 

18. The Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys

 

17. Sun Abduction – Acid Pyramid

 

16. Beaches – Void

 

15. War On Drugs – Holding On (Edit)

 

14. Idles – Exeter

 

13. The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz

 

12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Vomit Coffin

 

11. Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low

 

10. Deer Tick – Sea of Clouds
I love this understated and insightful all-American piece. I love the lead singer’s harsh voice against the unsophisticated arrangement and the nostalgic melody. I could not find a better tune to initiate the countdown to my best top 10 songs of the year.

 

9. Protomartyr – My Children
Once again, with this superb (and cynically accurate, I may add) contemplation on matters of ‘legacy’, Protomartyr did not disappoint! Absolute best intro of 2017 for me.

 

8. Screaming Females – Glass House
So-much-drama! Marissa Paternoster’s (great name) deep voice, the melodramatic chant-like lyrics and that bass… all coming together perfectly in a greatly anticipated mighty burst of frustration, drums and infuriated guitars. Intense!

 

7. Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down
A tune I liked instantly and that never shifted from my top 10. With its chorus ostensibly cheery but contrastingly set against a base of jarring guitars, this song is catchy and often plays on a loop in my head. I never get tired of it.

 

6. FEWS – La Guardia
Ha! What to say about this brilliant piece of work? Relentless, anxious, powerful and unsettling. It gives me goosebumps every time. A few lyrics down the line – a short, unequivocal statement and then.. screams! Distant and desperate screams. What else would you want from a track?

 

5. Big Thief – Shark Smile
After leaving their beautiful ‘Paul’ out of my top 20 last year (a decision that at times still regret), I was glad Big Thief were back delivering this sweet and emotional little piece, which immediately claimed and gained a top spot amongst my favourites of the year. I’m a sucker for emotive lyrics and forlorn tales, so no wonder this beautiful one instantly stole my little heart away.

 

4. Trevor Sensor – High Beams
Admittedly it took a while for this song to catch my attention and even then I struggled with Sensor’s voice… “nah”, I thought, “I couldn’t possibly put up with his voice, it gets on my nerves!”. Well, fast forward to now and I can’t get enough of it. I ended up falling for the desperate and mournful tinge in this piece, like a lament -beautiful and nostalgic. Definitely struck a chord.

 

3. Public Service Broadcasting – All Out
A masterpiece, politically charged and powerfully executed. The noise of the rise and fall of the coal mining Industry in Wales still reverberates today, inspiring this remarkable piece of work. Raging guitars play the perfect, striking soundtrack to the anger and unrest of a real dark hour in UK contemporary history -one not to forget.

 

2. Ha Ha Tonka – Race to the Bottom 
Race To The Bottom is a song filled with resignation – unsurprisingly… the clue is in the title. The dim, hopeless lyrics (“you’re going down, down, down, down, down”) clash with the fast, unrelenting pace. The tone is surely bleak and melancholic but glorious at the same time and this is exactly what makes this a superb tune for me.

 

1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter
Here’s to my top song! An eerie tribute to the mind happily (creepily?) drifting away somewhere between sleep and wake -”..my favourite state to be”. There’s a mildly sinister feeling to this song (and isn’t it great) lurking amidst a jovial, almost childish rhythm and harsh, distorted guitar riffs. It’s obsessive, it’s wicked and I love it.

 

 

30 Meat Wave – The Incessant

 

29 L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch

 

28 Oh Sees – Orc

 

27 Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

 

26 Deer Tick – Deer Tick Vol. 1

 

25 Ty Segall – Ty Segall

 

24 Public Service Broadcasting – Public Service Broadcasting

 

23 Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps

 

22 Alvvays – Antisocialites

 

21 Sleaford Mods – English Tapas

 

20 Spectres – Condition

 

19 Whispertown – I’m A Man

 

18 The Americans – I’ll Be Yours

 

17 King Krule – The Ooz

 

16 Ron Gallo – Heavy Meta

 

15 Flat Worms – Flat Worms

 

14 Micah P. Hinson – Micah P Hinson Presents: The Holy Strangers

 

13 The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

 

12 Kevin Morby – City Music

 

11 Mark Lanegan – Gargoyle

 

10 LIFE – Popular Music

 

9 Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent

 

8 Laura Marling – Semper Femina

 

7  Terry – Remember Terry

 

6 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana

 

5 Black Angels – Death Song

 

4 Cabbage – Young, Dumb & Full Of…

 

3 Big Thief – Capacity

 

2 The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classic

 

1 IDLES – Brutalism

 

50 Hiccup – Teasin’

 

49 Nervous Dater – Bad Spanish

 

48 Sun Abduction – Acid Pyramid

 

47 Roadhouses – Drinkin’

 

46 Dream Police – Revenge

 

45 BAIT – Push The Elephant

 

44 Meat Wave – The Incessant

 

43 Young Fathers – Only God Knows

 

42 Ty Segall – Big Man

 

41 The Sugarmen – Our Gallows

 

40 The War On Drugs – Holding On

 

39 Sleaford Mods – Drayton Manored

 

38 DZ Deathrays – Shred For Summer

 

37 Pontiak – Tomorrow Is Forgetting

 

36 Protomartyr – My Children

 

35 Black Mekon – Janey Was A Klepto

 

34 together PANGEA – Money On It

 

33 Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys

 

32 Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low

 

31 Screaming Females – Glass House

 

30 The Divine Comedy – To The Rescue

 

29 Idles – Mother

 

28 Deer Tick – Sea Of Clouds

 

27 The Black Angels – I’d Kill For Her

 

26 The Queens Of The Stone Age – The Way You Used To Be

 

 

Best of 2017: 75 – 51

Best of 2017: 100 – 76

  1. Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts – Soul & Cigarette
  2. Protomartyr – My Children
  3. Wilco – All Lives, You Say?
  4. Alvvays – Plimsoll Punks
  5. Quilt – Black Night Woman  (F.J. McMahon cover)
  6. Duds – Elastic Feel
  7. Spray Paint – Cussin’ (Live at Third Man Records)
  8. Silver Torches – If I Reach
  9. Reptaliens – If You Want
  10. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – Sleep
  11. Julien Baker – Intentions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Ian Felice – Kingdom Of Dreams
  2. Torres – Three Futures
  3. Together PANGEA – Money On It
  4. Oh Sees – Animated Violence
  5. Prism Tats – Brainwaves
  6. A. Savage – Winter In The South
  7. Protomartyr – A Private Understanding
  8. Beaches – Void
  9. Sloan Peterson – Rats
  10. Speedy Ortiz – Screen Gem
  11. DIIV – Cow  (Sparklehorse cover)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Protomartyr – Sweeney Ashtray
  2. Strand Of Oaks – I Know YOU Know You Are Evil
  3. Mitski – Fireproof  (One Direction cover)
  4. Marika Hackman – My Lover Cindy
  5. Daddy Issues – I’m Not
  6. Big Thief – Mythological Beauty
  7. Chemtrails – Headless Pin Up Girl
  8. H.Grimace – Lipsyncer
  9. Vulgarians – Of Humdrum Consumption
  10. The Wooden Sky – Deadhorse Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eleventh installment from the Adult Swim Singles Program is from MM faves Detroit post punk outfit, Protomartyr.

The track titled Born To Be Wine is another one of their disquieting, uncomfortable indie rock gems, featuring timeless riffs and typically sardonic lyrics from frontman Joe Casey.

Check out the new track below, and share and download it for free via AdultSwim.com

 

protomartyr

After Protomartyr featured heavily in our end of the year Best of lists, it was a no brainer to make the trip down with Chris T Popper to the 100 Club to catch the London date of their short UK tour.

First up though was The Rebel, aka Ben Wallers erstwhile frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the band Country Teasers. It was our first experience of his arcane, surreal, sometimes offensive, often hilarious, and always provocative lyrics played over  stumbling guitar and twisted, experimental electronics.

He is like a one man hybrid of the Residents and Syd Barrett – his opening cover of the Pogues’ classic The Old Main Drag, songs about homosexual swans, squalling noise collages, through to the skeletal riff of Please Ban Music, held an audience if not exactly enthralled then at least bemused for the entire set, which one suspects would please him greatly.

Photo by Maddy Endrighi

Photo by Maddy Endrighi

By contrast Protomartyr frontman Joe Casey takes the stage looking every inch the nondescript used car salesman, rather than any kind of punk rock lead singer. Looks though, as we know, can be deceptive and as the band launch into the needling riffs of opener Cowards Starve and his nihilistic baritone sweeps the room it is immediately obvious what makes the band such a force.

From here on in we are treated to the driving Blues Festival, the rolling, hypnotic wave of Pontiac 87, and a whole host more from last year’s excellent The Agent Intellect and its predecessor Under Color of Official Right. The pace is unrelenting, every last drop of intensity wrung from Greg Ahee’s guitar, while whiplash drumming and nagging, insistent baselines all combine to back up Casey’s fractured resignation that occasionally breaks out into howls of unbridled, frustrated rage.

And so we are carried on, Dope Cloud is all doomed majesty, The Hermit is brutal, whilst set closer Why Does It Shake sweeps all before it, a heaving, desolate, unrepentant musical landscape that offers no escape – not that we wanted any.

They were back for a two song encore, the almost, but not quite, jaunty proto-punk of Ain’t So Simple brings a little light relief before we finally finish as we started with Come & See and its opening verse:

“Have you heard the bad news?
We’ve been saved by both coasts
A bag of snakes with heads of gas
The complicated haircuts ride in on a white ass”

Two and bit minutes later and they’re gone, and we’re gone too. A Protomartyr gig is like a peep into the abyss, into a crushed future. It is a little bit thrilling, a little bit dangerous, and pretty much all consuming.

Catch them at your peril…

 

 

 

 

MM Best of 2015 no guitarAnd so here is the final personal Top Twenty of the year. This time it is my turn!

Another twelve months neatly wrapped up and delivered for your listening pleasure and here’s to 2016…

20. Quiet Hollers – Mont Blanc

An apocalyptic, “end-is-nigh” rolling, country rock anthem. Pure poetry with the best coda to a song I heard all year, “shed a tear for the books I shoulda read“.

 

19. H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

Melodic, haunting, weird. Perfect psych-pop with added twisted electronics.

 

18. Arborist – Twisted Arrow

Brilliant debut single of lilting folk-rock concealing a bleak heart and featuring the hushed vocals of none other than Kim Deal of the Pixies.

 

17. Courtney Barnett – Depreston

With her forensic eye for lyrical detail and the ability to capture emotional turmoil in the sparest of sentences, Depreston is the sombre standout from her brilliant debut album proper. A tale of house hunting in Melbourne suburbia that travels from the mundane to the tender to the revealing.

 

16. Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

Take the most infectiously catchy refrain, add jangly guitars, carefree percussion and bubblegum melodies. This is what you get. A hallucinatory classic.

 

15. Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

Irresistible foot-tapping indie rock, the like of which you just don’t hear very much anymore.

 

14. Woolen Men – Life In Hell

A clattering, staccato burst of tense, nervy post-punk that recalls the best of Wire and The Wipers. The aural equivalent of being jabbed in the throat by a stray elbow in the mosh pit.

 

13. Rats On Rafts – Last Day On Earth

A mini masterpiece of epic, circling, incessant grooves. Far, far, far out man.

 

12. Decemberists – Carolina Low

This was one of those stopped-in-your-tracks moments that music gives you sometimes. Watching the Decemberists live in Bristol at the start of the year and Colin Meloy transfixing the whole audience into rapt attention with just guitar and voice. Also spent much of the year repeating “You’ve got an ugly little mouth boy” in a poor imitation of an American accent.

 

11. Low – What Part Of Me

Classic Low – haunting, spectral, fuzzy and quietly, poignantly devastating.

 

10. Spray Paint – Signal Master

Like Chris T Popper, Spray Paint are my favourite discovery of 2015. Easily the sleaziest, seediest offering of the year – caustic, dead-eyed junkie punk, bleak, repetitive, and crushingly brilliant. “It’s time to put the dog down“.

 

9. Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

The Agent Intellect was unexpectedly my favourite record of 2015 and any number of tracks could legitimately have gatecrashed my favourite songs of the year. In the end I had to limit myself to two. This one, Why Does It Shake is described by the band as a “back-handed ode to humanity’s resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” and is equally exasperated and eloquent. It sets the tone with the doom-laden “False happiness is on the rise, See the victims pile high” and concludes in a stunning climax of clatter and squall.

 

8. Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

A hit man, a traffic jam. A sparkling ocean. Another extraordinary track of ominous, foreboding beauty from the Quiet Hollers.

 

7. Gun Outfit – Gotta Wanna

I’m a sucker for dusty, sun-parched rock and expansive widescreen Americana and Gotta Wanna combines the two in perfect unison. This is humming road-weary, dusty desert blues of the finest vintage.

 

6. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Scowling Crackhead Ian

The latecomers entry to the list. Over the course of a few short weeks Jeffrey Lewis’s wryly told tale of growing up with the evil anti-hero of his school days, until they are the only two left in the neighbourhood has firmly embedded itself in to my psyche. It effortlessly helps you to recall your own equivalent of Ian, someone you actively tried to avoid and whose unpredictability could be shocking and whose meanness was legendary (mine was Robert Beckett). “Forever you’ve been Crackhead Ian, It was your kid nickname if we spoke it, You were an insane human being, Whether you ever did or didn’t really smoke it“. Says it all really.

 

5. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

Girl Band’s Holding Hands With Jamie was a criminally underrated release this year. A band that manages to take the most discordant, contradictory noise and meld it into something magnetically compelling that grips like a vice. Pears For Lunch combines a manic energy with Dara Kiely’s lethargic, disinterested vocals as he intones, “Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down, Covered in Sudocrem and talking to myself, Garlic Curry Cheese Chips“. Exactly!

 

4. Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

Just shy of three minutes of propulsive, throbbing bass, skimming guitars and urgent vocals. This is Traams at their rollicking, ferocious best.

 

3. Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

The finest riff of the year, and a brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

2. Houndmouth – Sedona

The best sing-a-long chorus of the year bar none. Altogether now, “Hey little Hollywood, You’re gone but you’re not forgot, You got the cash but your credit’s no good, You flipped the script and you shot the plot, And I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink, A Saturday night kinda pink“.

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’

Probably the most overwhelming choice for number one song of the year that we’ve had in seven years of voting. A fingerpicked earworm, a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection.

 

And some other random choices..

Favourite cover of the year: Kinky Friedman – My Shit’s Fucked Up (Warren Zevon cover)

 

Gigs of the year: Fat White Family (Oxford) and The Decemberists (Bristol)

 

Song I wished I’d heard earlier in the year: Robert Chaney – The Ballad Of Edward And Lisa

 

Best Songs Heard For The First Time, But Not From This Year: Justin Townes Earle – Yuma & Sleaford Mods – Chop Chop Chop

 

 

You can see our full countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).

MM Best of 2015 no guitarOur third personal Top Ten comes from ever-present contributor Chris T Popper…

Another set of mighty fine tunes…

 

20 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go

19 Songhoy Blues – Soubour

18 Assed Out – Bueno

17 Houndmouth – Sedona

16 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

15 Abandoned Delta – I Never Lived In New Orleans

14 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres

13 Diet Cig – Harvard

12 Protomatyr – Dope Cloud

11 This Is The Kit – Silver John

10 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight

I first heard this on the Radio 6Music mid morning show back when winters were cold; thankfully songs like this make up for the witless musings of the host(s). Channeling a sound not wholly unlike Timber Timbre and the mighty yet criminally undervalued Howling Owls it’s a slinky little number dripping in reverb and with a splendid hook. Hit the spot with me in January and I never got bored of it. Only fair then that Moonlight makes the top ten, for it’s commendable staying power throughout eleven long months if nothing else.

 

9 Karen Meat & The Players – Pizza & Beer

A great riff opens this tune all slackers will connect with (that’ll be me then). How can you argue with the lyrics ‘I’ll think about exercise, and I’ll close my eyes for only for a minute or two. You want me to be the girl of your dreams but I’d rather barf all the shit I snarfed down earlier’. Great, Karen Meat sounds like my perfect drinking partner (and I’ve had a few). Add some groovy distorted vocals and the whole thing is done and dusted in under 2 minutes. I spent over six months unemployed this year and this was my soundtrack to those halcyon days.

 

8 Spray Paint – Signal Master

First of two entries in my top 10 for Spray Paint who have been my discovery of the year. Hailing from Austin, Texas the three piece was born from the remnants of When Dinosaurs Ruled The World (apparently only three members turned up for rehearsal one day and started playing and laying down tracks). Loosely (at best!) tuned guitars create synchronised chaos that dovetails with my DNA very nicely thank you. The opening line is delivered with a fabulously disinterested drawl – ‘Drinking more, eating less’ – a statement I have no trouble understanding.

 

7 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?

Protomartyr have also been a revelation this year with at least three of their songs pushing for a top ten spot from their excellent 2015 release The Agent Intellect. Touring the USA with their mates Spray Paint early next year coincides with my birthday. If anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket to Miami for the 20th February… Failing that I’ll wait until April for Protomartyr’s London 100 Club gig, minus Spray Paint unfortunately.

 

6 TRAAMS – Succulent Thunder Anthems

I’m a big fan of TRAAMS, and was lucky enough to tune in to their set on Mark Riley’s excellent radio show. They played this tune, a rollicking guitar blast, with an occasional break for some rather foreboding lyrics – ‘You know there’s ice on the road, please don’t slip and break your neck’. This is the band I need to see live in 2016 having missed them at last year’s Great Escape and (inexplicably) throughout 2015. Not a mistake I’ll make again.

 

5 Free Weed – Later

Scarily a social commentary on my own 2015… I’m now slightly panicked by Later. A wonderful beat that’s put it’s feet up, stuck the kettle on while sat on your couch sparking up a big fat one and watching a David Attenborough nature documentary on Ultra HD. Life’s good, worry ‘bout it later…

 

4 Quiet Hollers – Cote D’Azur

On the surface this is a melodic gaze towards the French Riviera. However, there’s an undertow of nasty menace I wasn’t initially aware of (excellent!). I think the protagonist may be a hit man or similar when I heard the lyrics ‘And from the trunk I could hear his voice, begging for his life like I had a choice, he said he had a wife and two little boys, and so I turned up the white noise’. Beautiful, haunting and the contrast leaves me feeling slightly discombobulated.

 

3 Sleaford Mods – Tarantula Deadly Cargo

My favourite song from the Sleaford’s 2015 album Key Markets and there was plenty of competition as it’s stuffed with great tunes. This has a slightly more laid back feel than usual with an inspired loop from Andrew Fearn and Williamson’s lyrics detailing the weary horrors of touring. The title refers to a 1977 TV movie that Williamson describes as “an areoplane full of hairy spiders with bad tempers who start killing the mindlessly frightened passengers”. Best check out Netflix for that then.

 

2 Spray Paint – Day Of The Rope

Heavy bass, discordant lead guitar crashing about the place like a demented baboon on acid and those metronomic drums just keep pounding. Jello Biafra and Gibby Haynes could have cooked this up in a deranged music lab somewhere. Can I make it any clearer how good this song is? Any other year this would have nailed the number 1 spot, it’s provocative, entertaining and utterly insane. I love Spray Paint. They truly are my new favourite band.

 

1 Girl Band – Pears for Lunch

My number one was bound to be a relentless attack on the nervous system so who else but perennial C Popper fave Girl Band to step up. With vocals like Jake Burns after a cold Lemsip, Dara Kiely keeps an impressive howl going throughout. The momentum builds and builds dragging you along for an increasingly brutal and uncomfortable ride, the fabulous Kiely vocals intertwining with the cacophony of sound to provide a full on assault to the musical senses. Simply put, I get goose bumps every time I hear it and what more can you ask for? It’s not just my favourite song of this year, but one that will be precious to me way beyond 2015.

 

And a couple of other awards…

Best Cover: Iron & Wine – Albuquerque

 

Best Song Heard For The First Time, But Not This Year: Adam Torres – Breakneck Jane’s 15 Minute Escape

 

Best Live Act: Fat White Family

Best Album: Sleaford Mods – Key Markets

 

You can see our countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).