Detroit’s Protomartyr has never been a band known to disappoint. From the first time we caught them in person we felt like they were truly something special. With as many of releases as they’ve dropped in recent years alongside a never-ending string of tours, they’ve felt pretty unstoppable in terms of energy and output. Now they’ve reissued their very out-of-print debut album No Passion All Technique which proves, they’ve always been a band worth knowing.
The opener “In My Sphere” shows a more raw side to the band’s sound. The lo-fi nature of the record means that the vocals aren’t really mixed loud enough, but the music is what matters and it works for a first release. This continues throughout the release where Protomartyr’s youthful energy from these early recordings show a different side to their more tension based post-punk sound of today. “Machinist Man” has an energetic stride that plays throughout, “3 Swallows” offers more of a sound that’s closer to what they’d do on Under Color of Official Right and “Jumbo’s” really showcases the strengths of the band in those early years.
The early seeds are planted here, tracks like “How He Lived After He Died” and “Principalities” stand out as what the future of the band would evolve into with a better budget and more time to record. Still, the standout of the album are rife here, foreshadowing so much of what Protomartyr would become. Bonus tracks like “King Boots” and “Whatever Happened to the Saturn Boys?” both standout here, proving that even in their early days, Protomartyr was ahead of many while signalling a change in modern post-punk music.
No Passion All Technique is available to stream on all streaming platforms, it can be purchased digitally in all online music shops or it can be picked up via Domino Records on compact disc or on a rare blue and white vinyl bundle. Protomartyr will be on a small run of dates with …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead beginning May 16 in Chicago, IL at Logan Square Auditorium until May 18 in Lakewood, OH at The Phantasy. A complete list of the performances can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniel Topete.