Protomartyr - 'Ultimate Success Today'

7/10

With their highly-acclaimed 2017 studio album 'Relatives Of Descent', which landed on a myriad of “best of” lists including The New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Loud & Quiet and many more upon its release, US art-rock outfit Protomartyr found themselves riding a wave of buzz and praise like never before in their career. So much in fact, it led to the rerelease of their cult debut album 'No Passion All Technique' in the years between then and now. Demand for Protomartyr has never been higher, so it makes sense that the band would want to return with something audacious for their fifth full-length, and that is exactly what we get on 'Ultimate Success Today'.

Much like many of their offerings to date, 'Ultimate Success Today' finds its solace in looped aesthetics. The majority of singles on this new collection look to maintain a steady and driven one-bar loop throughout their runtime, which anchors the sound of the track and gives the band the opportunity to grow and develop a sonic direction around it. The result is this rich and dark record that pits frontman Joe Casey as a contrast to his own outfit. While the group look to create atmosphere and progression through their composition, Casey takes on an almost Nick Cave or Joe Talbot-esque persona to deliver one violent and/or provocative prose after another, making for an extremely engaging listen.

From start to finish, 'Ultimate Success Today' has been written to keep your attention firmly fixed on the music at hand. Just when things start to feel comfortable again, the rip-roaring guitars and cacophonous drums rattle back onto the scene and give the full-length a necessary jolt of frenzy throughout. It may not have the same instant intensity of their previous collection, but sure makes for one hell of a ride!

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