At long last, Protomartyr has reissued their incredible (and impossible to find) 2012 debut, No Passion All Technique, which has also arrived on streaming services for the very first time (and with four bonus tracks). Heaven knows why they waited so long to give the album a wide release, but that’s punk rock for you.
Like The Stooges did 50 years before, the Detroit post-punks bring a direct, half-raw, half-rotten intensity here that can’t be faked with any amount of studio trickery. Supposedly recorded in a marathon session, the band sounds like they’ve been starved and stayed up for days, and Joe Casey’s voice (as ever) croons like it was made for casting spells.
Subsequent Protomartyr albums have witnessed their own enchanting evolutions in the band’s dark and potent sound, but like the best of debuts, there’s a nascent magic captured here, like the sulfurous spark of match flame, that makes its simplicity just as impressionable.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.