Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique

by Florian Meissner Rating:10 Release Date:2019-05-03
Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique
Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique

Protomartyr’s debut album “No Passion All Technique” has been a holy grail for fans of the band for years. Released in 2012, the album has been out of print for years, is not available on streaming sites, and has been going for ridiculous prices on Discogs. We’re talking South of 100€ for the LP, and a self-released cassette tape you might have been able to get for as little as 25€ back in 2015. Well, as of May 3rd, 2019, “No Passion All Technique” finally becomes available to the general public once again. Domino will be releasing an extensive reissue on vinyl and as a digital download, as well as on CD. The digital download “includes four non-album tracks from the same recording session – ‘King Boots’, ‘Bubba Helms’, and ‘Cartier E.G.s’ from the Dreads 85 84 7”, and ‘Whatever Happened To The Saturn Boys?’, which has never before been released,” as Domino explain on their website.

If you’ve never heard “No Passion All Technique,” the excitement around this reissue might evade you. So let’s have a closer look at what makes Protomartyr’s debut one of the most important albums of modern alternative music.

In 2015, Bristol punk outfit Idles started making a name for themselves with their second EP, “Meat”, before they kicked it off proper with their 2015 debut “Brutalism.” It’s not just the clever political lyrics that make this band stand out, but it’s their sound. Many people fell in love with the sound of this eccentric punk outfit from Britain’s west coast. Well, if you are one of them, and you haven’t heard of Protomartyr yet, I’ve got good news for you.

Kicking off with a very strong first song titled “In My Sphere”, Protomartyr ease their listeners into an album that will have changed many lives – and will probably do so again from May 3rd onward. 

The second track, “Machinist Man”, keeps the pace set by the opener, while “Hot Wheel City” starts going faster. And after a short intermezzo (“3 Swallows”), “Free Supper”, “Jumbos”, and “Ypsilanti” set a darker mood that will prevail throughout the rest of the 17 song strong release (counting the bonus tracks of the digital release, that is). Driving bass lines are mixed with melodic guitars and strong lyrics, sometimes circular, sometimes repetitive, sometimes straight forward, always interesting and powerful.

If you haven’t heard this album – just like I hadn’t before writing this review – I can’t recommend it enough. It’s raw, yet somehow polished. It paves a way for artists like Idles, Shame, and The Devil Wears Prada, and Joe Casey’s vocals remind me so much of Ian Curtis, that I’d like to think this is what Joy Division would sound like today.

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