Protomartyr 3/15/18, Denver

Dates: March 15, 2018

Location: Globe Hall, Denver CO

Motor City meets Mile High City – Globe Hall, to be exact. Pictured above: the band introduces their new merch table official.

BY TIM HINELY

This Detroit, MI fearsome foursome crawled out of the Motor City about the turn of this past decade (2010-ish) and have released three full-length records of grinding post punk and it’s a beautiful thing to these ears.  With that sound, part The Fall and part Joy Division, and part American noise (think Jesus Lizard, etc.) you’d think they’ve summered in Manchester or something, but no, Detroit is home. I mean you ever been to Detroit? Me either but I’ve read/heard a lot about it and that’s enough for me. I can now see why vocalist Joe Casey drinks so much. You would too.

Casey was dressed to the nines on this evening, or at least he had a sports coat on over his button up shirt while the other three, guitar/bass/drums, dressed more like…well, me. Jeans, t-shirt and beat-up sneakers. My hearing would’ve gotten beaten up on his night had I not brought along my trusty, squishy blue ear plugs that saved my sorry ass.

With three terrific records under their belt (two on Seattle indie Hardly Art  while the latest, 2017’s Relatives in Descent, was released on Domino) the set was culled from all three with healthy dollops from all three (and who doesn’t like dollops?).

Back to Casey, oh sure he can be amiable with the mic on one hand and his can of beer in the other, but give the guy some serious lyrics and he goes from Dr. Jeckyll into Mr Hyde in about three seconds (in the best way possible, like a poor man’s David Yow or something). While Casey crooned like Yow-meets-Como the rest of the band put their heads down, hard hats on, and went to work grinding out gem after bent gem and songs like opener “My Children” “I Forgive You,” “I Stare at Floors” and “Trust Me, Billy” (which sounds like the name of a Killdozer song) all hit we, the fan, square between the eyes (I can see!”).

After much hooting, howling, hollering and harassing bartenders the band came out and played “Scum, Rise!” and called it a night. They got the hell out of Denver, hightailing it out of town with tires squealing and middle fingers raised. On to the  next city and vowing never to return to the Mile High City (until next year). ‘mon back, fellas!

 

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