Protomartyr – Consolation E.P.

Protomartyr's high standard continues on Consolation E.P. proving the Detroit band still have plenty of gas left in the tank following 2017's Relatives in Descent

Album Review by Adam Turner-Heffer | 18 Jun 2018
  • Protomartyr – Consolation E.P.
Album title: Consolation E.P.
Artist: Protomartyr
Label: Domino
Release date: 15 Jun

After releasing one of the best albums of last year it would be safe to say Detroit's Protomartyr are firing on all cylinders right now. After a ferocious live tour across the US and Europe, the band quickly got back to work on a new EP of material written not long after Relatives in Descent to, in frontman Joe Casey's words, "keep up their momentum." This time, however, they have collaborated with longtime fan and friend Kelley Deal of The Breeders, who has, along with her R. Ring bandmate Mike Montgomery, recorded a single with the band before. 

Here, Deal has gifted her vocal talents to the latter half of Consolation E.P. on the, frankly, stunning Wheel of Fortune and equally pretty magical You Always Win. The former is one of the heaviest things the band have ever put out, a complete shock to the system to remind us that "we're not done yet." The power of Deal and Casey's delivery of the line 'I DECIDE WHO WINS AND WHO DIES,' is remarkable. Often guest vocalists are there merely for show, so it's refreshing and rewarding to hear how well Deal's vocals fit with the overall compositions, with the latter of the two seeing her voice used as another instrument alongside cello, viola and bass clarinet.

However, don't sniff at the first half of this EP just because Deal isn't featured, opener Wait is another instant classic largely through Greg Ahee's incredible melodic guitar hooks, while Same Face in a Different Mirror is one of the band's more challenging tracks, keeping us on our toes. It will be interesting to see if Protomartyr can keep this incredibly high standard up, but, as Consolation E.P. suggests, they've still got a lot of gas left in the tank.

Listen to: Wait, Wheel of Fortune, You Always Win